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Albert Marquet: A Style of Impressions

Albert Marquet - View from a Balcony - 1945 - Oil on canvas - 25 5/8 x 19 3/4 in. - Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NYFrench painter Albert Marquet (1875-1947) was very involved with Fauvism during the early years of the twentieth century. Fauvism—the first movement of Modern Art—was a wild, vibrant style of expressionistic art that shocked the critics. It has since been recognized as one of the seminal forces that drove Modern Art. It’s practitioners were called the fauves, French for "wild beasts," as a term of derision, referring to their apparent lack of discipline. Once thought of as a minor, short-lived, movement, Fauvism paved the way to other significant developments in modernism in its disregard for natural forms and its love of unbridled color. 

Marquet participated in a group exhibition with Henri Matisse (1869-1954), André Derain (1880-1954) and Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958) at the "Salon d'Automne" in 1905. In the following year, Marquet traveled extensively through France and also visited Germany, Holland, North Africa, Russia and Scandinavia. Between 1940 and 1945, Marquet lived in Algiers. He only returned to Paris permanently in 1945, two years before his death. 

Albert Marquet developed his own style, which was influenced by his varied impressions during his travels. He moved from typical Fauvism to a simplified, calmer style more akin to Impressionism He remained faithful to that approach for the rest of his life. In addition to landscapes Marquet also produced some excellent figurative paintings, including several powerful female nudes and numerous portraits. The painting featured here was completed shortly after his final return to Paris.

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