Maurice de Vlaminck
Fleurs, c. 1950
oil on canvas
55.3 x 38.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Mrs. R.A. Purves
Rebellious and eccentric by nature, Maurice de Vlaminck pushed the boundaries of early twentieth century art in his Expressionistic style of painting. After seeing Vincent van Gogh’s retrospective exhibition in Paris in 1901, and Paul Cézanne’s retrospective in 1907, he turned to bold colours and dynamic compositional forms, and applied them to his portraits, landscapes, and still lifes. In Paris he associated with the Fauve painters Henri Matisse and André Derain and, like them, he was branded a “wild beast” and criticized for his unorthodox use of colour. Rich colours, heavily applied, explode in this still life of flowers, which is representative of his mature period, darker and more sombre in tone than his earlier work. Evident here is Vlaminck’s preference for rhythmically structured composition and saturated pigments, vigorously applied directly onto the canvas from the paint tube.