Search for over 80 million sold items in our price database

LE PONT DE POISSY
Sold
LE PONT DE POISSY
Sold

About the item

Maurice de Vlaminck, LE PONT DE POISSY\nSigned Vlaminck (lower right); signed Vlaminck on the reverse\nOil on canvas\n68.3 by 95.5cm.\n26 7/8 by 37 5/8 in.\nPainted in 1905.
GB
GB
GB

notes

This vivid depiction of the bridge at Poissy is one of the first major Fauve landscapes, painted by Vlaminck the year he and his colleagues Matisse, Braque and Derain debuted their radical techniques of painting at the Salon d'Automne in 1905. Vlaminck's frenetic application of paint, his unabashed use of exuberant colour and his wildly expressive brushwork characterised the style that defined the first important avant-garde movement of the 20th century. At the time of the exhibition, critics' reactions to the paintings of Vlaminck and his contemporaries was severe. The most famous comment was made by Louis Vauxcelles, who classified the exhibition as 'an orgy of pure tones' perpetrated by a group of 'wild beasts' or fauves, as these painters have come to be known. But perhaps the critic Etienne Charles's reaction to Vlaminck's painting in particular provides the best insight to the unprecedented scenario at the salon that fall in Paris: 'M. de Vlaminck  has surpassed all his predecessors by the organic debauchery that he made with colour' (quoted in J. Freeman, Fauves (exhibition catalogue), The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995, p. 217).

The scene in the present landscape depicts a bridge, which has since been destroyed, across the river Seine in the town of Poissy in the western suburbs of Paris (fig. 1). The foreground is occupied by a large river barge, set against the background of the glistening yellow and blue-speckled water. Vlaminck took great liberties with his palette in his rendering of nature, but with his innovative colour choices he was able to capture aspects of the weather and time of day that may otherwise go unnoticed in more faithful renderings of the natural world. For example, we can imagine that it was either late afternoon or early morning when Vlaminck painted this work, since the intense yellow reflection of the sunlight is striking the water at an angle. The dark blue stripes that outline the cloud formations in the sky indicate that stormy weather might be on the way, as does the streak of vermilion cloth that blows in the wind from the flagpole. Overall, Vlaminck's use of colour energises the composition, leaving the viewer with a powerful visual impression. Upon seeing several of Vlaminck's paintings (fig. 2) from around the time he completed the present work, Matisse remarked: 'Vlaminck insisted on absolutely pure colours, on a vermilion that was absolutely vermilion, which obliged him to intensify the other parts of the paintings accordingly.' Evidently, Vlaminck's choice of colours had such a profound impact on Matisse that he admitted: 'I was not able to sleep that night' (quoted in ibid., p. 230).

Vlaminck's inspiration came not only from his contemporaries. Like many of the Fauves, Vlaminck was a great admirer of the paintings of Van Gogh (fig. 3), whose work had made a profound impact on him at the 1901 exhibition at Bernheim-Jeune. Vlaminck, who was of Flemish origin, also felt a kinship with the Dutch artist, whose paintings Vlaminck believed revealed a particularly Northern European spirit. As Judi Freeman explains, 'Vlaminck's fascination with colour and his predilection for thick impasto were indebted to the work of Van Gogh, whom he worshipped "always more than my own father." He was enthralled with Van Gogh's 1901 retrospective:  "In him I found some of my own aspirations. Undoubtedly from the same Nordic affinities. And, as well as a revolutionary fervor, an almost religious feeling for the interpretation of nature. I came out of this retrospective exhibition shaken to the core"' (ibid., p. 228).

One of the first owners of this work was Marie Cuttoli (1879-1973), who was the proprietor of the textile boutique Myrbor in Paris and a major premotor of the arts of textiles during the first half of the twentieth century. Between the 1920s and 1950s, Cuttoli promoted the cross-cultural exchange of artistic ideas among textile artisans in Algeria and France and modern painters in Europe, including Natalia Goncharova, Picasso, Léger and Le Corbusier. Along with her contributions in this field, Cuttoli was also a major collector of important twentieth century avant-garde art.

Fig. 1, The bridge at Poissy

Fig. 2, Maurice de Vlaminck, Canot, 1905-06, oil  on canvas, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation, Tokyo

Fig. 3, Vincent van Gogh, Les Ponts d'Asnières, 1887, oil on canvas, Fondation Collection E. G. Bührle, Zürich

medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Maurice de Vlaminck

exhibited

Geneva, Musée de l'Athénée, Vlaminck, 1958, no. 6

Bern, Kunstmuseum, Vlaminck, 1961, no. 140 (titled Le Ponst sur la Seine à Chatou and as dating from 1907-08)

dimensions

68.3 by 95.5cm. 26 7/8 by 37 5/8 in.

literature

The Financial Times, London, 3rd July 1969

Daily Telegraph, London, 3rd July 1969

Connoisseur, Paris, December 1969, no. 27, illustrated in colour p. 281 (titled Le Pont sur la Seine à Chatou)

Maïthé Vallès-Bled, Vlaminck. Catalogue critique des peintures et céramiques de la période fauve, Paris, 2008, no. 72, illustrated in colour p. 187

provenance

Galerie Druet, Paris

Marie Cuttoli, Paris

Mrs. Stephen Higgons, Paris (sale: Sotheby & Co., London, 2nd July 1969, lot 56)

Victor M. Carter, Los Angeles (purchased at the above sale)

Sale: Sotheby's, New York, 18th November 1986, lot 32

Private Collection, New York


*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


Advert
Advert

Sold items

Le Pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil
Sold

Le Pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil

Realized Price
41,480,000 USD

Le Pont d'Argenteuil et la Seine
Sold

Le Pont d'Argenteuil et la Seine

Realized Price
18,002,500 USD

Le Pont japonais
Sold

Le Pont japonais

Realized Price
15,845,000 USD

Le pont de Trinquetaille
Sold

Le pont de Trinquetaille

Realized Price
15,402,500 USD

Le pont de Trinquetaille
Sold

Le pont de Trinquetaille

Realized Price
11,207,500 USD

Le Pont du remorqueur
Withdrawn

Le Pont du remorqueur

Realized Price
9,811,288 USD

Sold

Le pont de bois

Realized Price
9,488,600 USD

Sold

Le pont d'Argenteuil et la Seine

Realized Price
8,482,500 USD

Sold

Le pont de Langlois à Arles

Realized Price
8,295,500 USD

Sold

Le pont et le barrage à Pontoise

Realized Price
7,922,500 USD

Sold

Claude MONET (1840-1926)

Realized Price
7,800,000 USD