Maurice de Vlaminck painting
Dimension: 52,5×68,5 cm
Painting Technique: Oil on canvas
Painting style: Post-impressionism, Fauvism
Born in Paris in April 1876, his Father was Flemish (indeed the original name De Vlaminck is the Flemish word meaning Flemish) and his mother was from Lorraine; both were musicians. They settled in the western Parisian suburb of Le Vésinet in 1879. Records show that Maurice was married by 1894 and had many children. He did his military service from 1896-1899 and afterwards earned money by giving music lessons and as a professional violinist for the Théâtre du Chateau d’Eau. Working also as a courier on his bicycle, he cut a bohemian figure, with robust gypsy looks and an unconventional outlook.
Maurice de Vlaminck was never trained as an artist, except for some early advice on drawing from Robichon, who was a member of the Société des Artistes Français and from Henri Rigal, with whom he worked on the Eyot of Chatou on the Seine and at Pont de Chatou.
He learned most by looking at the work of other contemporary artists, making visits to the art galleries in the rue Laffitte.
He liked the Impressionists and in 1900 he met Monet. Most influentially, though, he became a friend of André Dérain, with whom he rented a dilapidated studio on the Eyot of Chatou, near Le Vésinet, where they became the only members of the self-styled, two-member Ecole de Chatou. They spent their time together studying, painting, discussing and developing various theories. Living and working on the banks of the Seine, lazing about in rowing boats and yachts, most of Vlaminck’s subjects from 1900-1904 reflect the harmless profligacy of the easy life. Together with Dérain he visited the van Gogh Exhibition in 1901. It proved a turning point and Vlaminck was profoundly impressed by the freedom in van Gogh’s style and his use of pure colour.