Maurice de Vlaminck
Oil on canvas 54,2 x 64 cm Framed. Signed 'Vlaminck' in black lower right. Verso on the stretcher a label of Galerie Simon, Paris, imprinted in black, thereon dated in red typewriting "1919", numbered "6339" and inscribed "de Vlaminck/ Nanterre". - Some early-stage craqueleur. Professionally cleaned.
Created at or shortly after the end of World War I, Maurice de Vlaminck's landscape near Nanterre transports us into the immediate vicinity of his war-time home, the suburb of Bougival to the northwest of Paris. In the 19th century, Bougival was already a popular place of domicile among artists, after the Impressionist scene around Monet and Renoir had been drawn to the landscape in the loop of the river Seine during the Belle Époque. Yet after the end of the war, Vlaminck yearned for even more unspoilt surroundings: “In the year 1918 I decided to leave Bougival, where I had lived before the war. I gave notice to vacate my studio and moved to Valmondois, forty kilometers from Paris, where I had the impression I was truly in the countryside, away from the capital. I found Chatou, which I had not seen since the war, to have aged tremendously! Garages, gas stations, motor coaches, tall buildings, settlements …” (Maurice de Vlaminck, Dangerous Corner, London 1961).
Even though paradoxically the painter was explicitly enthusiastic about the speed of the motorbikes and cars of his time (see Max Tauch, Galerie der Grossen Maler - Vlaminck, Bergisch-Gladbach 1969, unpaginated), the almost empty street scene hints at the depth of Vlaminck's thirst for an unspoiled and undamaged countryside as the world around him changed - a world of which the car had already become a part and in which lanes were soon to be tarmacked over and turned into roads. While the van Gogh and Cézanne-inspired Fauvist Vlaminck can still be made out in the strong, clear colours, the artist's handling of the paint has become much calmer here. This, as well as the composition, point to the atmospherically dense landscapes of Vlaminck's late work, which were often characterized by tension-filled absence.
With a confirmation from Comité Vlaminck, Paris, from October 23, 2017; the work will be included in the Vlaminck Digital Catalogue Raisonné, sponsored by Wildenstein Plattner Institute, Paris/New York, under the reference no. 17.10.20 / 20079.
Galerie Simon, Paris (with stretcher label); Private collection, Baden-Württemberg; Private possession, Baden-Württemberg