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Maurice de Vlaminck’s L’Eglise de Franconville

Seeing this work in person is hypnotic, but for as bold as the foreground is, what draws my eye most is the very interesting texture and look of the clouds in the upper left area.  Do you see how the area of pure white cloud seems to blur into the storm behind it?  For a piece that has a clear impressionist style about it, I find those clouds oddly realistic.  If you’ve ever seen the sky churn in the Midwestern United States before a summer thunderstorm you know just what I mean.

Vlaminck is part of the Fauvism movement, a sort of sub-variety of the larger Impressionist Revolution happening at the time that is typically identified with the bold color you see in the piece below.  If you’ve not heard of the Fauvist Vlaminck before, you’ve surely seen his more famous compatriot, Henri Matisse.

I find the style incredibly appealing.  It hasn’t a certain joy and richness about it, even in a painting of a small town about to be battered by a storm, don’t you think?

Available until March 10th as Lot 50 in the Impressionist and Modern Art Including Russian Art Auction at Sotheby’s New York Headquarters.

Maurice Vlaminck Eglise de Franconville

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

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Georges Michel Landscape Paintings

George Michel’s works can be found in some of the world’s most famous museums – the Louvre, the Met, the National Gallery, the Hermitage, and many other storied institutions, yet he’s relatively unknown. His landscapes of the French countryside, painted in the late 18th century and early 19th century, particularly the windmills of Montmartre are striking, but what I like best are the dark, stormy tone he captures, rather than sunny fields of peasant workers common of the time. I suppose there is something sad about a picture of a storm, but as long as you don’t hang it over your bed you’ll be fine.

These particular works are coming up for auction March 18th at Sotheby’s in Paris as part of the Collection Violette de Talleyrand, Duchesse de Sagan, Former collection Gaston Palewski, in addition to a handful of others by Michel. A great reason to hop on a plane to the City of Lights, as if one really needed an excuse.

Paysage Au Moulin – Lot 90

Georges Michel Paysage Au Moulin

George Michel Village Au Pied D’Une Colline Aux Environs des Paris – Lot 92

George Michel Village Au Pied D'Une Colline Aux Environs des Paris

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

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Valley River by Wayne Theibaud

Wayne Theibaud Valley River

A relatively recent work (1995) from the American Realist / Pop Art legend, Wayne Theibaud.  Most will know Theibaud from his famous paintings on American consumerism and junk food like hot dogs, gumball machines, and ice cream cones, but his landscape work has a lot to offer as well.  Available until March 11th as Lot 39 in the First Open Post War and Contemporary Art auction at Christie’s New York Headquarters.

Friday, February 19th, 2010


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The Restorer by William Verplanck Birney

William Verplanck Birney The Restorer

Available until March 3rd as Lot 73 in the American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture auction at Sotheby’s New York Headquarters.

Saturday, February 13th, 2010


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Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church

Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church

on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Sunday, January 31st, 2010


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