Van Gogh •
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Albert Marquet was born in Bordeaux, France. He was both very young and very poor when he went to Paris to study at the
School of Decorative Arts under Gustave Moreau. Matisse was also studying
there at the time and, in order to earn money, the two artists decorated the halls for the Paris Exposition of 1900 in
Moreau's Art Nouveau style. Associated with Matisse in the 1903 salons,
Marquet was considered a Fauve, although in reality he was rebelling against Impressionism. For him, color was never an
end or a means in itself. Once his career was safely launched, Marquet spent the rest of his life alternately at his studio
on the Quai St. Michel in Paris, where he painted the Seine and its bridges, or in various seaports all over Europe and
North Africa. He traveled constantly and whenever the spirit moved him, staying with painter friends until he was bored
and then leaving as unexpectedly as he had arrived.
Extremely independent and very shy, Marquet lived simply and quietly, painting as he liked, with no regard for public
taste and refusing all public honors. Marquet's break with Fauvism was perhaps the most complete of the entire group.
Although previously he had painted portraits, figure studies, and landscapes with figures, when he returned to France after
a trip with Matisse to Morocco in 1912, he devoted himself entirely to
landscapes, repeating the same subjects and presenting them at different times of day and during different seasons. An
excellent draughtsman, Marquet worked in simple, rapid lines that were reduced to the minimum necessary for compositional
structure. He then applied soft, limpid color in finely and delicately shaded tones that at first glance seem to be
monotones. Marquet was a realist in the tradition of Poussin,
and Courbet, and a great lover of nature.