Maurice de

France • 1876−1958
Maurice de Vlaminck (Fr. Maurice de vlaminck) was proud that his foot "did not cross the threshold of the Louvre," called himself "A gentle and full of unbridled savagery barbarian" and went down in art history as a "kindler" expressionism among the Fauves. Before gaining fame, he made a living by studying music and writing erotic stories, was a professional cyclist, turner, mechanic and draftsman. Legendary Fauvist Henri Matisse Vlaminck hated, and his best friend during the inception of Fauvism, André Derain, after some ten years will say: “Do not tell me about Vlaminka. In painting it is a butcher! ”.

There is a well-known version that Maurice de Vlaminck didn’t study painting for a day, but it’s not entirely fair: he really “did not participate in art institutions, did not participate, was not attracted”, but took private drawing lessons in his youth. Parents - Flemish immigrants - saw his future in music, following the example of his father, a music teacher. Maurice has mastered the violin, but he preferred sport to music. From the age of 16 he became a cyclist. With the sport was not bad, but a sudden illness (typhoid) forced to say goodbye to the thoughts of a sports career.

At age 18, Maurice married a girl named Suzanne Burley, who soon bore him a son. Provide a family is not particularly successful. Vlaminck acted as a musician in a variety show on Montmartre, played billiards, worked as a journalist, wrote erotic stories. In the biographies of many artists such a period can be seen, and often touching detail is added to it, from which we learn how a beginner genius spent all his free time in museums, who did not have the money to study ... Moreover, he was extremely proud that he had never been to museums, considering that such visits deprive the artist of his identity and make him a theorist, not a painter. “In art, theories are as useful as the doctor’s prescriptions: you have to be sick to believe them.”- such is the manifesto Vlaminka.

In the early 1900s, Maurice de Vlaminck became friends with Andre Derain. They rented a studio together in Shatu, admired in unison Van gogh and tamed the "wild" color. Derain also illustrated Vlaminck's erotic stories. In the next year, 1905, Derain introduced Matisse and Vlaminck, and a few months later, at the autumn Salon of the Independent, the definition of fauvism (from fauve - wild). Vlaminck and Matisse strongly disliked each other. Imposing Matisse considered the brutal Vlaminck to be excessively wild, even for the “wild” community, and Vlaminck spoke dismissively of the decorativeness and serenity of the paintings of Matisse.

Gallery owner Ambroise Vollard - a very significant figure for French artists of those years - he acquired many paintings by Vlaminck, and soon organized his personal exhibition. But the first wife did not wait for his success - they divorced in 1904. Vlaminck did not grieve for a long time and found solace in the arms of his second wife - Berthe Combe, who bore him two daughters.

Like his friend Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, after fauvism, turned to the side cubism, and just as quickly left him, and retained a deep dislike for Picasso. "He counts everything, this rascal and sly fellow"- Vlaminck resented. He was suffocating within the framework of Cubism, defining them as militaristic and declaring that they turn him into a neurotic.

“Cubist discipline reminds me of the words of my parent:“ The regiment will benefit you ””- snapped Vlaminck. The military service did not pass him, he was mobilized in the First World War, he worked as a draftsman at a defense company and could not say anything good about it. Frankly, Maurice de Vlaminck did not have a tendency to give out praise to anyone or anyone. He was crude in his temper, he got into the image of a brutal “savage” qualitatively, was a kind of marginalized proletarian. However, the exhibition in 1919 in the Druet Gallery, in which his paintings for 10 thousand francs were sold, allowed Vlaminck to stop being such a proletarian. He bought a house in the suburbs of Paris and settled in it with his family, saying goodbye to a noisy metropolitan life.

Vlaminck rejected the ideas of the “art for art” type and the abstract problems of pure painting after the First World War. Art not related to real life, he now compared with platonic love: "Nothing is ever born of it". Finally abandoned flirting with cubism, his paintings were filled with dramatic, violent expression, the color riot of Fauvism changed restrained by the intensity of dark, dark colors. He actively uses black, white, cinnabar, lead shades, fractional strokes, uneven rhythmic repetitions. A man appeared in his landscapes - he was not necessarily portrayed, but his presence was implied. Unlike his great contemporary Matisse, Vlaminck certainly did not set a goal. "Calm down a tired person". In his world, peace will not even dream, and the person there is clearly anxious and uncomfortable. But Vlaminck does not want to "do well" to the viewer.

"Wild" artist confidently won the audience. His solo exhibitions were held not only in France, but also in the USA, Switzerland, and England. But the Second World War brought serious discord in Vlaminka’s relations with the world. Most often, the artist’s biographies mention that he was in the Anti-Fascist League and was tricked into engaging in a Nazi propaganda campaign along with other artists, Derain, By marriage, Frieze, van dongen. However, in the memoirs of the German officer Werner Lange, "responsible" for the French bohemia and who was in direct command of Goebbels, there are stories that he especially became friends with Vlaminck and repeatedly visited receptions in the artist's country house. “Will they understand me if I say that the occupation was unbearable, but we have perfectly adapted to it?”, - Jean-Paul Sartre, a writer Jean-Paul Sartre, has amply and ironically commented on the relationship of many artistic people with invaders. Vlaminku exactly adapt managed.

After the war, the artist was accused of collaborationism, but the investigation of the Special Committee on Occupation dropped the charges against him. Unlike Derain, for whom the story of Nazi propaganda was a major blow and turned him away from active social life, Vlaminck managed to regain his position and in 1954 represented France at the Venice Biennale.

Author: Alain Esaulova
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