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Maurice de Vlaminck

French graphic artist, painter and writer
1876 - 1958


"I try to paint with my heart and my loins, not bothering with style"

Maurice de VlaminckHe was born to a Flemish father. His parents, who were bohemian musicians, moved to the Paris area when he was only three years old. He showed only a slight interest in his studies, beginning the journey of autodidactism that characterized his relations with painting. As an adolescent, Vlaminck planned to make a career as a professional cyclist.

Like his parents, he also had musical talent and earned a living thought the violin. Vlaminck had a passionate interest in painting which was fostered by Robichon, a French artist. In 1894 he married Suzanne Berly, but contracted typhoid fever which ended his racing career in 1896. Obliged to support his family, he gave violin lessons and eventually joined the military. It was during one of his military leaves at Chatou when he met André Derain on June 1900, which was the meeting that began the school of Chatou and ultimately the birth of Fauve Art.

At the Salon d'Automne of 1905 Vlaminck exhibited in the same room as the other fauves. He had a love for pure color and became, with Matisse and Derain, the leading exponent of fauvism, often using the paint straight from the tube in vigorous compositions. It was after this exposition that his financial situation began to gradually improve.

His first one-artist exhibition took place at the Vollard Gallery in 1907. He mostly painted landscapes and from 1908 his palette darkened and later was mildly influenced by cubism. He also wrote novels, memoirs and collected African art. He also published a few novels for which Derain made illustrations and even wrote some poetry.

Immediately following World War I, he retired to the country, where he had always wanted to live because of his love for nature.

He continued to travel with Derain during the later years of his life and published dozens of autobiographical accounts of his life and his experiences with other artists.

He died in 1958 at Rueil-la-Gadelière


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