Albert Marquet will give new view on French painting

Albert Marquet. Vesuvius

On September 27 – January 08, 2016 at Poushkine Fine Art Museum in Moscow exhibition of curious French painter Albert Marquet. He is amazing because he discovers us one more, relatively unknown segment of great french painting of XIX-XX centuries.

Subject of the exhibition is 69 works, divided into groups as follows: «Marquet and fauvism», «Paris of Marquet», «Travels of Marquet» and «Marquet in Russia». The exhibition has a name «Albert Marquet. Widely-opened window».

It is held upon the idea if Mrs. Sophie Krebs, chief keeper of collection at Modern Art Museum of Paris City, with participation of the biggest museums of Russia and France under General sponsorship of VTB bank.

When Sophie saw A. Marquet at the Museum of Poushkin, she felt something like “extase” and believed that original beauty of his works must get second breath. The exhibition was successfully held in Paris, and then it transferred to Moscow.

Albert Marquet (1875-1947) is French post impressionist. He is Friend of Henri Matisse, George Ruo, Raul Dufie, but the painter got less popularity comparing to the above-mentioned persons. He graduated from Paris School of Fine Arts, and participated in French Resistance.

Paintings of Albert Marquet are rare exhibited in Russia (starting from 1950-1960 his paintings were almost not exhibited). And that is why we are appreciated to see complete exposition, showing different aspects of his creation.

There will be found many common things – the artist poetized casual topics of life, sites of Seine, Notre-Dam-de-Paris, Algeria and sea ports. Lovers of Japanese paintings will see, that it was one of the painter’s inspirations, which reflected in colors of his Paris sites as well.

The exposition also aims at presenting Albert Marquet by his influence on Russian culture. Here we see paintings of Russina artists in style of Marquet – in particular, by A. Vedernikov.

Following our tradition, we applied to Mrs. Sophie Krebs for comments, as to a person who gave idea. In interview to cultural and political magazine “E Vesti” she told a lot of interesting about France and Marquet.

Albert Marquet. Bassin du Roi-le-Havre
Albert Marquet. Bassin du Roi-le-Havre

E Vesti: Could you, please, describe impression of Frenchmen about A. Marquet exhibition in Paris? How good was it, did he received attention and love in France?

Sophie Krebs: You know, in contemporary France we got habit to talk about painting in intellectual, research approach only. It is impossible to change. And only in process of presentation on topic the visitor gets some clarification, focus. This shows, how the painter works, how he creates his paintings.

Look at his production, his manner, how he drew clouds etc… If you move a little far from canvas – you’ll see something special. The paintings. That is the discovery of French public, which is more common to scrutinize the creations. French people see images, but not the paintings as it is, we provide analyze of certain canvas, in more material meaning.

In connection to the above-mentioned, those things the French consider simple – and Albert Marquet is simple in view of subjects and concepts, this is banal. Imagine, what impression could appear inside of Paris inhabitants after looking at casual landscapes, like sites of Seine. The painter doesn’t lie to viewer, the sites are exactly the same he wrote. This is curious and surprising to see the feelings which marks creation of the painter. He makes paysages by eye of photographer, but with hand of painter.

And it is more French in Paris. It returns interest to the paintings in core meaning.

E Vesti: And now, after the exhibition, did the French public change attitude to his painting?

Sophie Krebs: Yes, they did, as minimum because they were not aquatinted with Marquet. And now they tell: «How it could happen, that we didn’t know Marquet? He’s important painter». And a lot of friends of mine, historians of art, underline importance of Marquet, which was forgotten, and even misunderstood while he worth to be shown again.

Former exhibition of the painter took place in 2000 in Paris, at our museum and Carnival museum, but there were no expositions in Pompidou or National Museum of Contemporary Art. Their last exhibition of Marquet is dated back to 1950s.

In 1960s all big collections had A. Marquet paintings. This artist is “sincere collector”, because price of his paintings was not up so high, like works of Matiss of Picasso, and it formed upon his work itself. Marquet was not an object of collectors’ business.

He can be watched every day. When I visit collectors, I surprise looking at their living, dreaming and eating with Marquet. He is really comfortable for casual life and this is a painter who gives happiness in form of small satisfactions. Not a grand fest, but small daily emotions.

E Vesti: I can see Russian painters in the exposition too, who did something in manner of Marquet …

Sophie Krebs: Yes, I know, I’ve been told, that «marquists» will be exhibited there too. Of course, this is interesting.

I think, that Marquet is very delicate, nice, and it is a reason he attracted Russian painters, which were shocked, how modest any be a man with big talent. He gives very good impression on everybody. And it is not a question that Morozov and Schukin, which bought his works for collections, did so in order to afford Russians to enjoy it.

In France he disappeared in such sense. From time to time he was bought by the state, but disappeared soon.

E Vesti: Do you have «marquistes» in France?

Sophie Krebs: No, we don’t have any. The reason is, that we have had a tradition of landscapes in France. And two biggest landscape painters, in my opinion – Bonheur and Marquet, both disappear soon after the war. And after the war we get new generation – those, which is not much interesting in landscape, especially in abstract one.

After the war people focus on figurative art more. Landscape becomes not important, ignorant, and so ends the tradition of landscape painting.

Bonhuer and Marquet are the last great landscape painters of France, and they die at the same time. Bonera is known more than Marquet, and today almost all the museums of the world have exhibitions of Bonheur. Marquet is less fortunate from this view, and I attribute this to the simplicity and even naivete of his subjects.

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