Provence, a small region in the south of France bordering the Mediterranean Sea, has attracted the greatest masters of French painting since the mid-19th century. Van Gogh, Cézanne, Derain, Matisse successively laid their easel there to understand and grasp all the subtleties of the light of these splendid sunny landscapes. In the mid-19th Century, the true identity of the l’École Provençale (Provençal school) was gradually built, always based around bright fauvian colors laid in thick pictorial material.
Artelier’s latest exhibition, ‘Expressions of Provence’ is a celebration of this most notable landscape so favoured by artists and features mainly fauvist works from the late 1800s to early 1900s. Most available art for sale in Malta tends to be contemporary and feature local scenes – this exhibition is bringing something quite different to the island. Lovers of art and history will enjoy having a browse of these unique pieces by some very sought after French artists.
Fauvism is a French Avant-guard art movement started by a group of loosely associated early 20th-century modern artists who sought to bring personal expression into their paintings. Works emphasised strong colour and the artists’ own emotion and expression over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism artists. It was Fauvism that led the charge toward well-known 20th-century painting styles, such as Cubism and Expressionism
Paul Gaugain said of this genre “Imagine trees that don’t have to be green and brown, people who are blue and green, and red skies in paintings.” All of these ideas, which express the feelings of the artist through a somewhat irrational use of color, create the Fauvist style.
Artelier’s exhibition presents works by painters belonging to this period, forever inscribed in the history of the art of modern French painting. You will find some well-known artists such as Yves Brayer, Gabriel Couderc, Alfred Persia, Joseph Hurard, Adolphe Gaussen, Augustin Carrera, Vincent Manago and Yvon Grac.
When browsing the collection, you will come across several street and seascapes featuring boats, many depicting olive trees, rural villages, subjects often found in Fauvist art. The common factor between them is the richness of colour, distinctive brushwork and thick application of paint.
Due to the Covid pandemic, a physical exhibition is not being held however the virtual exhibition is available for viewing at www.arteliermalta.com and appointments can be made to view the pieces in person if requested.