Matisse's visit to Signac in Saint-Tropez in 1904 is another milestone of modern art. Matisse explores pointillism while using pure colors with which expression will supersede realism.
All these elements converge to make 1905 a key year in modern style. Derain spends several months studying artistic creation with Matisse in Collioure, leading to progressively giving up of the pointillism.
Meanwhile Maurice De Vlaminck remains in Chatou in the workshop which he was sharing with Derain. Vlaminck is an excessive character, physically and in his behavior. His works from this period display large variations of style around a technique of divisionism.
On May 9 in New York, Sotheby's sells a Sous-Bois painted by Vlaminck during the summer of 1905, oil on canvas 60 x 72 cm, lot 14 estimated $ 12M. This artwork whose composition is as nicely balanced as a Cézanne is spectacular through the use of colors as bright as what Derain was doing in Collioure. Divisionism is pushed up to a meticulous pointillism quite surprising in the corpus of this impatient artist.
A few weeks later at the Grand Palais, the third Salon d'Automne promotes the promising vision of these young artists. The famous "cage aux fauves" wording probably refers to a painting by 'Douanier' Rousseau but the use of pure colors in art in a style closer to impressionism than to Gauguin and Signac becomes the Fauvisme.
The Sous-Bois is not among the five paintings exhibited by Vlaminck at the Salon d'Automne. This canvas did not surface until 1951. It is quite possible that the artist concerned about the search of an original style did not appreciate that he had made a rare masterpiece of Fauviste pointillism.
Vlaminck concluded soon after that he must be inspired by Cézanne but he did not understand that Cézanne was confronting light colors. Vlaminck's palette became dark and dull with a sad repetition of unidentified empty villages. He became embittered up to an outrageous rejection of that modernism for which he had however made an outstanding contribution in 1905.
SOLD for $ 16.4M including premium