Rita Crane Photography: Collioure / France / buildings / restaurant / street / bicycle / L'Andalou, Collioure (French Catalonia)
[Best Large on black. Click on photo! Reposting this one for those who never saw it.]
I was out early on a Sunday morning in March and the streets were deserted, except for the little bicycle in the corner. I caught sight of this charming scene and took a few minutes to frame it carefully.
Collioure is a coastal town just north of the border with Spain, an ancient port settled by the Greeks and later the Romans, but with an interesting recent cultural history: Matisse and Derain lived here and painted colorful scenes of houses, boats, and the bright blue Mediterranean. Their brilliant use of saturated colors gave them the dramatic name of the Fauve ("wild beast") painters.
(Henri Matisse et Andre Derain ont habite ici plusieurs annees, et leur toiles pleines de couleurs vives leur ont donne' le nom: " Les Fauves ". Il y a un petit musee a Collioure dedie' a leur vie et a leur oeuvre. L'encyclopedie internet www.wikipedia.com a une section en francais ou l'on peut lire au sujet de ce mouvement d'art des annees 1920.)
"Les Fauves (French for The Wild Beasts) were a short-lived and loose grouping of early Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities, and the use of deep color over the representational values retained by Impressionism. Fauvists simplified lines, made the subject of the painting easy to read, exaggerated perspectives and used brilliant but arbitrary colors. They also emphasized freshness and spontaneity over finish.
One of the fundamentals of the Fauves was expressed in 1888 by Paul Gauguin to Paul Sérusier,
"How do you see these trees? They are yellow. So, put in yellow; this shadow, rather blue, paint it with pure ultramarine; these red leaves? Put in vermilion."
The name was given (humorously) to the group by art critic Louis Vauxcelles. In French, "Fauves" means "wild beasts." The painter Gustave Moreau was the movement's inspirational teacher, and a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris who pushed his students to think outside of the lines of formality and to follow their visions.
The leaders of the movement, Moreau's top students, were Henri Matisse and André Derain — friendly rivals of a sort, each with his own followers. The paintings, for example Matisse's 1908 The Dessert or Derain's The Two Barges, use powerful reds or other forceful colors to draw the eye.
Fauvism, as a movement, had no concrete theories, and was short lived (they only had three exhibitions). Matisse was seen as a leader of the movement. He said he wanted to create art to delight; art as a decoration was his purpose; therefore his use of bright colors tries to maintain serenity of composition.
Among the influences of the movement were Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh, both of whom had begun using colors in a brighter, more imaginative manner."