Albert Marquet (born March 27, 1875 – died June 14, 1947) was an outstanding French post-impressionist, landscape and fauvist painter of the 19th-20th centuries, known for his numerous industrial landscapes of European and African cities. In the works of Albert Marquet, simple, familiar things – boats and bridges, cranes and port moorings – seem to be transformed.
Marquet’s works are sincere and honest, filled with air and light. The artist liked to depict calm water, shimmering with numerous shades of blue, blue, green and gold. He painted cities a lot and often from a high point, as if dragging the viewer deep into space.
Biography of Albert Marquet
Albert Marquet was born on March 27, 1875 in the French city of Bordeaux. The boy’s father worked as a conductor, being a mature man married a young girl. The age difference between Marche’s parents is 15 years. Albert Marquet spoke little about his childhood.
It is only known that drawing interested him more than studying. Even at preschool age, the boy drew simple forms with charcoal on the floor, after that he created the first pictures with colored pencils. In 1890, immediately after graduating from high school, he entered the School of Decorative Arts in Paris. There he met and became friends with Henri Matisse. They maintained this friendship for life.
In 1895, Albert and Henri continued their studies, enrolling together at the School of Fine Arts. Later, already being a famous artist, Albert recalled these years as the most cheerful and carefree in his life. Friends spent a lot of time together, often painting on the street, creating sketches of buildings, bridges and people. If a person moved too fast, one of the artists made a hissing sound, a passer-by was frightened and froze for a second, thereby allowing the work to be completed. In the evenings, students worked as plasterers.
Unfortunately, Marquet and Matisse did not finish their studies at this school. After the death of Gustave Moreau, their favorite teacher, they never returned to school. At the beginning of the 20th century, Marquet became interested in a new direction in painting, Fauvism. The contours of his landscapes have become simpler, and the colors have become unnaturally bright, contrasting.
Fauvism was coldly received by the public and lasted only a couple of years. The 1905 exhibition aroused particular indignation, where not only the paintings looked strange, but the artists also came dressed in unusual clothes. And Marquet himself put on an old worn corduroy suit and a wide-brimmed hat.
New unique style
In 1907 he went on a trip to Normandy. It is this moment that historians consider the starting point in the formation of his new, unique style. The landscapes of that time are softer, calmer and more restrained. Shortly after the exhibition he held at the Drouet Gallery in Paris, the expression “Paris Marche” appeared, denoting the artist’s special vision of the city.
Albert Marquet painted dozens of views of the French capital, often depicting the city from above. On his canvases are the bustling everyday life of Parisians hurrying about their business, the grandeur of Notre Dame Cathedral, the sophistication of the Eiffel Tower, the Ile de la Cité, bridges, barges and pleasure boats.
The master traveled a lot, traveled around Europe, visited Russia, visited Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. He met his only wife in Algiers. In 1920, the forty-five-year-old artist met Marcel Martinet and has been inseparable from her ever since.
In Algiers, he spent all the years of World War II, painting the narrow streets of local cities and the serenity of the sea surface. There are storms and storms in his works. The family returned to Paris after the end of the war. Albert Marquet bought an apartment on the Rue Dauphine, overlooking the Pont Neuf and the embankment of the Seine, which he loved so much. In the last years of his life, the artist was seriously ill, but did not stop writing. He died at the age of 72, in 1947, after undergoing a major operation. After his death, his wife wrote a book about the master.