Maïthé Vallès-Bled and Godeliève de Vlaminck will include this work in their forthcoming Maurice de Vlaminck catalogue critique currently being prepared under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.
In 1907, Vlaminck attended the Salon d'Automne, where two rooms were devoted to a retrospective of Paul Cézanne's work, including Grand pin et terres rouges (Bellevue) (fig. 1). While Vlaminck, through his association with Ambroise Vollard, can hardly have been ignorant of Cézanne up to that point, the impact of such a large-scale exhibition was to be profound. This rediscovery of the provençal master’s work was perfectly timed for Vlaminck, as he was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the coloristic exuberances of the Fauve period. The protean quality of Cézanne's art offered many avenues of exploration for Vlaminck, which he pursued upon his return to his hometown, Chatou, later that year.
La Seine à Chatou illustrates the lessons learned from Cézanne on building form through careful planar construction. The left bank of the river and the houses and hills in the distant background are reduced to a series of overlapping, structural planes. Vlaminck also reduces his palette to a cool range of Cézannian blues, greens and ochres. He employs varied brushwork in the river, where the trees and homes are reflected. The strokes are careful and deliberate in the depiction of the facades of the houses near the water’s edge, but give way to a wilder and looser handling which is reminiscent of his earlier Fauve works.
(fig. 1) Paul Cézanne, Grand pin et terres rouges (Bellevue), circa 1885. Private collection. BARCODE 28864677_fig