This work will be included in the forthcoming volume of the catalogue critique of Albert Marquet’s paintings being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute.
As a young student, Marquet spent time at the Louvre copying works by Claude Lorrain, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. It was through his rapid but nevertheless accurate sketches and drawings executed on the sidewalks of Paris that he developed his sense of movement. The hustle and bustle of Parisian life complemented what he learned in the museums and galleries, and it was this energy which caused the avid traveler to always return to Paris, the city he so loved.
When living in Paris, Marquet made sure that his studio had a good view of the Seine so that he could paint the ever-changing appearance of the city on the water. Like Claude Monet, he sought to capture in his works the subtle changes in character of various buildings and bridges, in particular the cathedral of Notre-Dame and the Pont-Neuf.
The present canvas depicts the tip of the Ile Saint-Louis surrounded by the Seine, with the great Parisian monuments and bridges in the background. François Daulte has written about the artist’s Parisian paintings: “Here are Paris and its bridges freeing themselves through the light of the river; here is the Paris of trees sheltering the booksellers; here are the popular quarters with their fences covered with multi-coloured posters and their decaying houses...He drapes them in the sun of springtime or bathes them in the sad atmosphere of a winter's day, when the snow dribbles down on the quays and a fog, light and damp, hangs over the entire city” (Albert Marquet, Lausanne, 1988, p. 24).