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Charles Camoin (France 1879‑1965)

”Bords de l’Arc”

To be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale: Modern & Contemporary 9 – 12 November 2021

Lot 102 Charles Camoin (France 1879‑1965). ”Bords de l’Arc”. Signed Camoin lower right. Oil on canvas, 73 x 93 cm.

Executed in 1907.
Madame Grammont-Camoin has kindly confirmed the authenticity of this work which will be included in the forthcoming Charles Camoin catalogue raisonné.
A note from Mr Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler to Mr Tore Gerschman dated Paris, le 30 Mars 1972 on the reverse of a photograph is included with this lot.


800.000 – 1.000.000 SEK
€ 80.000 – 100.000


Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, no. 22, acquired from the artist in 1907.
The collection of Folke Isacson (1898-1975), Gothenburg.
The collection of art dealer Tore Gerschman (1913‑1992), Stockholm, acquired from the above on 25 February 1972.


Salon des Indépendants, Paris, 25 March-30 April 1907, cat. no. 5182.
Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, ”Charles Camoin”, 6‑18 April 1908, cat. no. 8.

In context

Charles Camoin’s stunning “Bords de l’Arc” from 1907

The French painter Charles Camoin is widely known for his contributions to the Fauve movements. The Fauves was a short-lived but profoundly important group of young French artists, who became famous for their use of intense colours and expressive brushstrokes. Included in the sale is Camoin’s vibrant work from 1907, “Bords de l’Arc”, which has never before been offered at auction. 

Charles Camoin was born on 23 September 1879 in Marseille, France. At the age of sixteen, he enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts in Marseille but was encouraged by his mother to continue his studies in Paris after winning an award in drawing. At the studio of Gustave Moreau in Paris he coincided with Henri Matisse, who was to become a lifetime friend, and Jean Metzinger, Albert Marquet and Georges Rouault. Matisse recalled that Moreau “set them not on the right roads, but off the roads and disturbed their complacency”. After the death of Moreau the same year, Camoin moved to Arles where he painted landscapes in the manner of Gauguin and van Gogh. The following year he befriended Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence, one of the most influential artists of modern time who inspired Camoin to further explore the treatment of colour. Camoin maintained a lifelong friendship with Cézanne, whose advice and counsel were of outmost importance for his future works. Together with his friends from the Gustave Moreau studio, Camoin founded fauvism. By completely liberating the force of colour and by painting unrestrained, energetic and unconventional compositions full of life, these painters became known in France as “the wild beasts”. It was the art critic Louis Vauxcelles who described an academic sculpture surrounded by their colourful canvases as ”Donatello chez les fauves” (”Donatello among the wild beasts”), at the 1905 Salon d’Automne. Even though he was highly associated with the fauvists, Camoin stated: “If I was a fauve, it’s because I painted that way. I had the same exclusive love for the colour that I have for my friends. But I was never concerned about theories and principles. I was unintentionally fauve… I’m driven by my instincts.” Compared to Matisse and Derain, Camoin was far closer to the works of Cézanne and did not share their graphic and chromatic violence. From 1903-1904 and onwards, Camoin showed his latest works at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne. The present work “Bords de l’Arc” was exhibited at the important Salon des Indépendants exhibition in 1907. In the year of 1906, Camoin had his first solo exhibition at legendary art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler’s gallery Galerie Kahnweiler in Paris. In the year of 1907, he executed the wonderful composition “Bords de l’Arc” which he sold the same year to Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. The work was showed the following year at Kahnweiler’s Camoin exhibition. 

Photo © Michele Brabo/Opale / Bridgeman Images
Photo © Michele Brabo/Opale / Bridgeman Images

Beginning from 1905, Camoin travelled extensively in the company of Albert Marquet. They visited London, Frankfurt, Naples, Capri, Corsica, the Mediterranean coast, Tangier and Morocco, where also Matisse joined them. Camoin became fascinated by the technique of plein-air painting and closely studied the landscape to capture the interplay between light and colour. In “Bords de l’Arc” this is particularly evident, as Camoin has depicted the sunshine shimmering on the water and playing with the shadows. This style was first developed in his fauvist paintings from 1904-1905 and closely link him to the aesthetic tenants of the Impressionists, such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet, the later whom he met in Giverny in 1903. In “Bords de l’Arc”, Camoin has worked with a nuanced pastel palette and feathery brushstrokes. The summer landscape with its lush nature by the water is filled with reflections, revealing the artist’s shift from focusing on colour to light. This vibrant composition dating from the year after the fauvist period is a reflection of the beauty of Camoin’s surroundings, executed with brilliant colours of green, purple, blue, pink and yellow.

Charles Camoin is one of the most important figures of modern art and his works are featured in prominent private collections and institutions, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nice, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Dallas Museum of Art among others.

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