Happy Birthday Vlaminck!

Vlaminck A self portrait

Today is the birthday of Fauvist artist Maurice Vlamink.   I have written a little about him here in my ‘art quote’ section here.  He is an interesting fellow.  Jack of all trades,Vlamink (b. 1876 -1962 Paris, France) tried many styles including  Fauvism  but settled on an Expressionistic style.

Vlaminck 'potato picker' 1905

Vlamink was an instinctual artist, self-taught.  Being brought up by two musicians he was also musically inclined and even taught violin himself.  He was a larger than life man, tall, imposing with red hair, physically strong and at one time in his life even became a wrestler.

Vlaminck 'Brages on the Seine near Paris'

He liked to wear gaudy colours and dress eccentrically.  He was a professional cyclist, a mechanic and a labourer.  Later in his life he discovered that he could write and wrote some erotic novels.

Restaurant de la Machine at Bougival vlaminck

A chance meeting with fellow Fauvist Andre Derain (their train was derailed) in 1900 led to his involvement with the Fauvist movement.  Derain introduced him to the artist he shared his studio with – Matisse, and Vlamink was inspired by the artist’s bold use of colour.  When he saw the 1901  exhibition of Van Gogh’s in Paris, Vlaminck just had to take up his paints.

Vlaminck portrait of a woman 1906

Derain and Matisse encouraged Vlaminck to show his colourful enthusiastic work along with theirs at the  Salon d’Automne exhibition in 1905.   There the three received a critique  from art critic Louis Vauxcelle which was to earn them the name ‘Fauve’s’ (wild beasts)

Vlaminck-Circus 1906

Becoming a ‘wild beast’ proved quite lucrative for Vlaminck who sold everything he painted.  His work is most known for his Fauvist period, though later he became involved with more structured work and the balancing of colour which was inspired by Cezanne.

The Fauves began in 1900 and continued beyond 1910, but the movement only lasted 1905 -1907 and had three exhibitions. Vlaminck continued throughout his lifetime to produce colourful art work.   He continued to sell and his work was popular.  In addition to painting, he wrote and illustrated books, produced woodcuts, prints and lithographs.  What a varied, exciting and fulfilling career this man had!

Lots of Vlaminck paintings here

Short biography here

Paintings here

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2 Responses to “Happy Birthday Vlaminck!”

  1. Thank-you, once again, Lynda. I had not heard of this artist. I rather like all these gaudy colors together and should look up Fauvist art. I am also intrigued with his self portrait, something about the shapes of it.

  2. Yes, he was quiet a ‘wild beast’ 🙂 His enthusiasm shows through I think – how shocked they must have been 🙂 Out of the fauves Matisse probably went on to be the most famous of them (must do something about him) Glad you enjoy these fauves Leslie – your visits and comments are always valid and appreciated very much by me 🙂

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