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La volupté de la couleur

22 June to 28 October 2018

The Fondation de l’Hermitage presents a major exhibition of the work of Henri Manguin (1874-1949), an artist who loved colour and whom the poet Apollinaire called the “voluptuous painter”. The main focus will be on Manguin’s early career and notably his Fauvist period, when he shared the audacity of his fellow artists in that group and sometimes outdid them in the quest for new means of expression through the use of colour. With their sumptuous chromatic harmonies, the paintings from this period reflect Manguin’s rare talent and creativity. 

Manguin met Albert Marquet and Henri Matisse in Paris in 1892, while he was training at the Ecole des Arts décoratifs. In November 1894 the three young painters enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where they worked in Gustave Moreau’s studio, and joined forces with André Derain et Maurice de Vlaminck to form a group that acquired the name “Fauves” – meaning “wild beasts” – at the Autumn Salon of 1905. Manguin’s work always expresses a happy sensuality, his subjects of choice being nudes, Mediterranean landscapes, domestic scenes and still lifes, all genres that express the joys of being alive.

The exhibition features around a hundred works, including oil paintings, watercolours and drawings. The first section explores Manguin’s formative period, when his work soon stood out for the organisation of colour in his compositions. After this the focus will be on the Fauvist period with works created in Saint-Tropez, their intense colours reflecting the dazzling surroundings of the Mediterranean. These flamboyant works – mostly nudes and Arcadian landscapes – convey Manguin’s sense of exaltation at the natural paradise around him, which carried his art to its peak. A group of watercolours illustrate his early use of a technique that was key to the liberation of colour in art at the dawn of the 20th century. Manguin spent the war years in Switzerland, sheltered from the tragic events that had befallen Europe, and works from this time will also be on display, showing how his art was able to develop then.

This exhibition is the fruit of a partnership with the Musée des impressionnismes Giverny, which was its first host from 14 July to 5 November 2017.

A richly-illustrated catalogue is published for the event, with contributions from specialists on Manguin and on Fauvism, including Corinne Currat, Charlotte Hellmann, Dominique Lobstein and Jean-Pierre Manguin.

Specialist curator: Marina Ferretti, scientific director of the Musée des impressionnismes Giverny


The exhibition and its catalog benefit from the generous support of :