To make up for my recent silence, I hope over the next month to complete a series of short posts on Fauve artists as printmakers. For no particular reason, I'll start today with Maurice de Vlaminck. Vlaminck was born in Paris in 1876. His father was Belgian (the name Vlaminck or Wlaminck means “Flemish”); his mother was from Lorraine. Both were musicians.
Maurice de Vlaminck, Beaumont, Oise
Despite this artistic background, Vlaminck originally intended to be a professional cyclist, and it has often been noted that his landscapes are like the glimpses of a passing cyclist, crouched low over the handlebars of his bike watching the world rush by.
Maurice de Vlaminck, Nesles la Vallée
In 1896 a bout of typhoid fever put paid to Maurice de Vlaminck’s athletic ambition.
Maurice de Vlaminck, Environs de Marines, Oise
It was while on leave from his military service, on 18 June 1900, that Vlaminck had a chance encounter with André Derain on a train. The two became firm friends, and when he was demobilized Vlaminck shared Derain’s studio in an abandoned hotel-restaurant on the Île-de-Chatou.
Maurice de Vlaminck, Une église dans le Vexin
Derain provided illustrations for Vlaminck’s early semi-autobiographical erotic novels such as D’un lit dans l’autre (From One Bed to Another), and Vlaminck became one of the original Fauve group, alongside Henri Matisse, André Derain, Raoul Dufy, Othon Friesz, Albert Marquet, Henri Manguin, and Charles Camoin. The etchings above were contributed by Vlaminck to one of the earliest monographs on his work, by Georges Duhamel.
Maurice de Vlaminck, Church across a cornfield
Maurice de Vlaminck continued to write as well as paint, and is one of the few to achieve real distinction in both literature and art. Besides his fellow-Fauves, Vlaminck was deeply influenced by Cézanne and Van Gogh. He went to the 1901 Van Gogh exhibition with Derain, and was overwhelmed by what he saw.
Maurice de Vlaminck, Flowers in a vase III
Maurice de Vlaminck, Farmhouse in the snow
While Maurice de Vlaminck’s early prints tend to be monochrome, his later work is filled with colour, as shown in the monochrome etchings in this post, dating from 1927, and the boldly-coloured lithographs from thirty years later.
Maurice de Vlaminck, Flooded water meadow
The colour lithographs were made for an edition of Images pour un jardin sans murs by Maurice Genevoix; my copy is warmly inscribed by Genevoix to the publisher Henri Flammarion.