It was Vlaminck’s vibrant Fauve paintings — executed in bright, non-naturalistic colour with paint applied directly from the tube onto the canvas — that placed this self-taught artist in the forefront of the Paris avant-garde during the first decade of the twentieth century. About 1907, he attenuated his palette and, under the influence of Cézanne, developed a more naturalistic yet multi-faceted treatment of space, thus participating in the widespread shift from Fauvism’s expressive use of intense colour to Cubism’s geometric structure. Unlike his contemporaries Matisse and Derain in particular, Vlaminck generally sought his landscape subjects nearby, in Paris’s western suburbs. Here, from a rise and at a distance, the village of Rueil is seen through a screen of tree trunks spanning the foreground. The structural elements are defined throughout by black outlines, which, along with the successive planes of the buildings, lend the painting a solidity typical of Vlaminck’s conception of space during this period.
© Estate of Maurice de Vlaminck / SOCAN (2020)