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Maurice de Vlaminck 

Paysage cézannien

Hammered at SEK 2.700.000 at Uppsala Auktionskammares Important Sale 13-15 June 2018

343. Maurice de Vlaminck (France 1876‑1958). Paysage cézannien. Signed Vlaminck. Oil on canvas, 60 x 73 cm.

Executed ca. 1912.

This work will be included in the forthcoming Vlaminck Digital Catalogue Raisonné, currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Inc, and is accompanied by an Attestation of Inclusion from the Wildenstein Institute signed and dated by Elizabeth Gorayeb New York 15 March 2018.

The Collection of Gösta Stenman (1888‑1947), Sweden/Finland, inventory no. 5038.
Konstsalongen Bäcksbacka, Helsinki.
The Private Collection of art dealer Tore Gerschman, Stockholm, acquired from the above.
An important Swedish Private Collection.

Riksförbundet för bildande konst, ”Yngre franskt måleri ur finska samlingar/Early French paintings from Finnish collections”, exhibition no. 32, 1944, cat. no. 74.
Turku Art Museum, Åbo, Finland, ”Exposition d’art Francais”, 1943, cat. no. 94.
Bukowskis, Stockholm, ”Modernt före moderna”, 27 September – 1 October 2013.

Turku Art Museum, Åbo, Finland, “Exposition d’art Francais” (exhibition catalogue), 1943, illustrated.
Bukowskis, Stockholm, “Modernt före moderna” (exhibition catalogue), 27 September – 1 October 2013, illustrated in colours p. 65.


Together with the artists André Derain and Henri Matisse, the French painter Maurice de Vlaminck is considered to be the front figure of the Fauvism movement. 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”. By the year of 1907, Vlaminck found himself becoming deeply unsatisfied with the Fauvism movement and instead, he sought for other sources of inspiration. This change in direction was described by Vlaminck who stated: ”Working directly in this way, tube against canvas, one quickly arrives at an excessive facility…The play of pure colours, the extreme orchestration into which I threw myself unrestrainedly, no longer satisfies me. I could not stand being able to hit harder, to have to reach the maximum intensity, to be limited by the blue or red of the paint dealer” (Maurice de Vlaminck, Dangerous Corner, 1961, p. 15).

The retrospective exhibition of works by Paul Cézanne at the Salon d’Automne in 1907 offered a solution to Vlaminck’s struggle and he was struck by the colour intensity and structured landscapes in Cézanne’s oeuvre. This large-scale exhibition with works by Cézanne displayed in two rooms had an enormous impact on Vlaminck and many other artists in the younger generation. The effect of the exhibition was revolutionary for the development of modern art and Cézanne’s attempt to find a new way to depict the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional canvas inspired both Vlaminck and artists such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. In a series of paintings executed in the following years, Vlaminck replaced the formless fauvist landscapes with careful planar construction according to Cézanne’s lessons on building forms.

“Paysage cézannien”, dating from ca. 1912, shows a stunning example of Vlaminck’s ability to enhance the natural colours of the landscape with the use of dynamic brushworks and a palette close to Cézanne’s. The naturalistic colours of blue, green, ochre and red together compose this intriguing scenery and through the use of different shades the artist has captured the essence of a sun-drenched riverside village. Vlaminck adopted a structurally rigorous composition after he moved away from Fauvism, closer in style to the landscapes by Cézanne and allowing him to experiment with volume and to develop his own unique aesthetic. In “Paysage cézannien”, a visceral energy is present induced by the artist’s enlivened brushstrokes and the interplay of dark shadow and highlights of pure colour. Vlaminck has depicted an idyllic life on the countryside outside Paris drenched in sun and in full bloom, in contrast with the shifting nuances of blue in the sky and thundering dark clouds resting over the mountains far away. This dramatic yet astonishingly intriguing scene confirms Vlaminck’s recognition as one of the foremost painters of the 20th century.

Even during his years as a fauvist painter, Vlaminck preferred the idyllic countryside along the coast of Seine before the hectic life in Paris. When his friend and fellow artist André Derain decided to rent a studio in Paris in the autumn of 1906, Vlaminck’s reaction was: ”I had no wish for a change of scene. All these places that I knew so well, the Seine with its strings of barges, the tugs with their plumes of smoke, the taverns in the suburbs, the colour of the atmosphere, the sky with its great clouds and patches of sun, these were what I wanted to paint” (Judi Freeman, Fauves, 1995, p. 220). Most probably, “Paysage cézannien” depicts Vlaminck’s beloved town Chatou west of Paris or one of the picturesque villages situated along the Seine. During this brief but important transitional period in Vlaminck’s oeuvre, he created several vibrating images of the breath-taking nature surrounding Chatou, often depicting the captivating reflections in the river and the bright red colours of the roofs. “It was in painting the banks of the Seine that I tried to represent the emotion that seized hold of me when faced by this landscape… It can only have been the extraordinarily strong and powerful enthusiasm felt by my twenty-year-old-self, the rush of life that I experienced at the time, that enabled me to transpose this banal subject (The Seine), through a blaze of colour, into fierce realism and exuberant picturesque!” Vlaminck explained about his early encounter with Chatou (Maïthé Vallès-Bled, Vlaminck, Catalogue critique des peintures et céramiques de la période fauve, 2008, p. 361). Chatou was a place he knew by heart and a motif he would always return to and depict through new visions.

“Paysage cézannien” has never before been sold at auction. It has been included in several important private collections in Finland and Sweden and was previously in the collection of Gösta Stenman, a prominent art dealer famous for his exquisite taste in art and extensive collection. “Paysage cézannien” now offers an exciting opportunity to acquire an important work by one of the most fascinating artists of the 20th century.

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