Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more THE PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION
Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958)

Fruits et fleurs

Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958)
Fruits et fleurs
signed 'Vlaminck' (lower left)
oil on canvas
32 x 25¾ in. (81.2 x 65.5 cm.)
Painted in 1910
Lucien Lefebvre-Foinet, Paris.
Lilienfeld Galleries, New York.
Carter Higgins, Worcester, Massachusetts, by whom acquired from the above in 1939.
Katherine Bigelow Doman Collection, New York; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 6 May 2004, lot 276.
Noortman Master Paintings, Maastricht, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Private collection, Europe, by whom acquired from the above; sale, Sotheby's, London, 20 June 2007, lot 358.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
K. Perls, Vlaminck, New York, 1941, p. 17 (illustrated).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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India Phillips
India Phillips

Lot Essay

This painting will be included in the forthcoming catalogue critique of Maurice de Vlaminck's paintings, drawings and ceramics being prepared by Maïthé Vallès-Bled and Godeliève de Vlaminck under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.

Painted in 1910, Fruits et fleurs is a rare picture dating from a pivotal moment in Maurice de Vlaminck's career, when he was able to combine the legacy of the Fauvism, that he had spearheaded, with the investigations of three-dimensional form that had been inspired to him by Paul Cézanne. The flashes of intense colour present in the vigorously-applied brushstrokes that have been used to depict the flowers recall the Fauve years, as well as the inspiration that Vlaminck had originally derived from Vincent van Gogh. At the same time, Fruits et fleurs was painted at the moment when Vlaminck was pushing the influence of Cézanne, whose works had been a watershed for him when he had seen the posthumous 1907 retrospective dedicated to the Master of Aix in 1907, to a bold new extreme. Where Van Gogh's example had allowed Vlaminck to unharness colour in his paintings, Cézanne appeared to permit new explorations of form. Vlaminck has taken these to a new level: with its tilting perspective and the prismatic background with its radiating diagonals, Fruits et fleurs clearly revels in a planarity that recalls Cézanne less than it does Vlaminck's contemporaries in Paris, the Cubists. Using a similar visual arsenal to that embraced during the same period by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, Vlaminck has here introduced a sense of three-dimensional space and of dynamism to this picture.

Fruits et fleurs is one of the paintings that reveals the extent to which Vlaminck was in the orbit of Cubism during the years of its inception. Shortly after this work was painted, he would pull back from the developments that had been pioneered concurrently by artists such as Picasso and Braque, in part because he felt that the increasingly codified systems that they used were a distortion too far, and were far too rooted in formulae rather than in the passionate realm of painting, of picture making. This work shows Vlaminck walking a similar path to Braque and Picasso at that dawn of Cubism, taking, as they had, the legacy of Cézanne to its natural limits and beyond, exploring the entire nature of representation. However, unlike the pictures of the Cubists, Vlaminck has refused to embrace the earthen palette that they came increasingly to use. Instead, he has clearly retained his love of colour, evidenced in the petals of the flowers, in the fruit, and even in the haze of the planes that form the background of this picture.

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