Maurice de Vlaminck

French painter (1876-1958)

Maurice de Vlaminck (4 April 1876 – 11 October 1958) was a French painter. Along with André Derain and Henri Matisse he is considered one of the principal figures in the Fauve art movement, a group of modern artists who from 1904 to 1908 were united in their appreciation of intense colour. Later Vlaminck returned to the use of broken colors.

photo, 1942: - Vlaminck (right) and Derain (left) - former Fauve companions till c. 1912 - reconcile after many years

Quotes edit

  • [how anyone could] remain an individual if he had to conform with senseless orders and old foolish things without being asked his opinion on them.
    • Quote of De Vlaminck c. 1898-99; as cited in Vlaminck, Klaus G. Perls, The Hyperion Press, New York 1941, p. 42
    • It was in these years in the military that Vlaminck was converted to anarchist thinking. In a writing then he questioned how anyone could..
  • ..a revolt against an established order in painting, a revolt against an established order in society, a same spirit of provocation..
    • Quote of De Vlaminck before 1915; as cited in Derain et Vlaminck: 1900-1915, by Jacqueline Munck and Maïthé Vallès-Bled; catalogue of Lodeve Museum, 2001, p. 23 - ISBN 10: 8820214903 / ISBN 13: 9788820214906
  • [Picasso is guilty of] having dragged French painting into the most dismal 'impasse' and of having led it into in describable confusion. From 1900 – 1930, he led it towards negation, impotence and death. All alone with himself Picasso is impotence made man. Nature havinf denied him a real character, all his intelligence and malice have been employed to fabricate a personality.
    • Quote from Vlaminck's text 'Portraits', c. 1940-42; as cited in 'Dangerous Corner', Maurice de Vlaminck; transl. after 'Tournant Dangereux, 1929' by Michael Ross]; Abelard-Schuman Limited, New York, 1966, p. 25
  • The thought of becoming a painter never as much as occurred to me. I would have laughed out loud if someone had suggested that I choose painting as a career. To be a painter is not a business, no more than to be an artist, lover, racer, dreamer, or prizefighter. It is a gift of Nature, a gift..
    • Quote of De Vlaminck; as cited in Vlaminck, Klaus G. Perls, The Hyperion Press, New York 1941, p. 51
    • To support his family of four, De Vlaminck had to find other means by which to earn a living, and ended up taking several other jobs, including working as a billiards players, a writer, a general worker, and even a cyclist
  • [T]ranslated by instinct, without any method, not merely an artistic truth but above all a human one.
  • I wanted to burn down the 'École de Beaux Arts' with my cobalts and vermilions and I wanted to express my feelings with my brushes without troubling what painting was like before me.. .Life and me, me and life.

'Dangerous Corner', 1929 edit

'Dangerous Corner', Maurice de Vlaminck; translation after 'Tournant Dangereux, 1929' by Michael Ross; Abelard-Schuman Limited, New York, 1966
  • [with painting] directly tube against canvas, one soon becomes too slick.. .I regretfully realized that my composition was reduced to no more than a series of coloured rhythms, harmonious, discordant, monotonous and that, from simplification to simplification, I was falling into the trap of decoration. I no longer got to the bottom of things: I no longer cut through to their heart. The decorative spirit was leading me to forget painting.
    • p. 15
    • Vlaminck himself had become disillusioned with Fauvism, c. 1907-08
  • The war [World War 1] gave me a certainty of belief. I grew aware of the bankruptcy of theories, of the theories of intellectuals as well as artists. L'art pour l'art and other grave problems no longer gave me a headache; they seemed to me so much bosh hand interested me as little as platonic love.
    • p. 17-18
  • My father was a violinist, my mother a pianist. I was born into a world of music...The practicing of my father's pupils accompanied every thought and action of my childish life. ...Then when I was thirty [c. 1906], my career as musician was brought to an end by Vollard [art-dealer in Paris] who bought all the pictures I possessed, pictures which I had painted over several years with unbounded enthusiasm during such hours of freedom as I was able to spare between [music]-lessons to my pupils.
    • p. 27
  • I always look at everything with the eyes of a child. I feel enthusiastic for things today fort he same reasons as I was enthusiastic about them as a child...I remember one summer morning when I was twelve years old [1888], I was with my father. We were following a road which crossed the plain from Rueil to Croissy. The whole plain was a solid field of corn and the ears stood higher than my head. I still retain today the impression of the vast expanse, spangled with flowers and filled with the drone of insects. Often, later on, I have tried to recapture, to fix firmly in my mind once again, the impression of that world around me, of the sun which burns my face and hands.. .Every time a see a field of corn I an reminded of that morning.
    • p. 18-19
  • For me, the discovery of the outside-world, dates from my acquisition of a bicycle [c. 1892]. I spent whole days on the high-roads. I rode through villages, towns and the country-side. I tasted dust; rain poured down on me; I struggled against the wind. With my cycle I was able to visit places never dreamed of.. ..thanks to my bicycle I saw fort he first time the whole of the valley of the Seine from Chatou to Havre, Mantes, Bonnières, Rouen, Duyclair and Tancarville.
    • p. 46
  • All this countryside [along the Seine] was calm and peaceful. The strongest emotions I have experienced on the high roads or on the hill tops whence I could see down into the valleys on to the roofs of houses which I felt I could reach out and touch with my hand.. And then I was tempted to begin painting [c. 1893 - 17 years old].. .I composed instinctively and awkwardly. I applied colors with only one idea which justified everything: to express what I felt. I painted hesitantly and exclusively for myself and no one else. It seemed to me that water, sky, clouds and trees understood the happiness they gave me.
    • p. 46
  • It was only in the evenings that I played the violin [c. 1999-1901, to earn his money for living]. During the day I was free to spend my time as I wished. With a few colours in a box, a canvas and a cheap easel under my arm, I would make my way to the Banks of the Seine.. .I painted to restore my peace of mind, to calm my desires and, above all, to purify myself a little.. .Make a career of painting. How I would have laughed if someone had talked to me about that! To be a painter is not a profession, no more than being an anarchist or a lover, a race-track rider..
    • p. 66

Quotes about Maurice de Vlaminck edit

sorted chronologically, by date of the quotes about Maurice de Vlaminck
  • [C]o-existent with...a personal poetry and romanticism that is often gloomy and even violent, Vlaminck's pictures have a formal logic, an underlying strength of organization that derives from more than one classical precedent.
    • Quote of Patrick Heron, 1947; as cited in 'Dangerous Corner', Maurice de Vlaminck; transl. after 'Tournant Dangereux, 1929', by Michael Ross]; Abelard-Schuman Limited, New York, 1966, p. 20

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