Fine Art

Albert André

French school, born 1869

Vase of Flowers

 
Oil on canvas
18 x 21 1/2 inches (45 1/2 x 54 1/2 cm)
Framed: 25 3/4 x 29 inches (25.8 x 73.7 cm)
Signed: Albert André

Albert André, a renowned Post-Impressionist, was born in Lyon on May 24, 1869. André received his first art training in Lyon and worked designing patterns for silk fabrics, the city's main industry. In 1889, Andre traveled to Paris and joined the Académie Julian where he studied under William Bouguereau. There he met fellow artists Louis Valtat, Maurice Denis, and Pierre Bonnard, and became a member of the Post-Impressionist movement. He exhibited for the first time in 1894, at the Salon des Independants, where Auguste Renoir saw his work and befriended him. Renoir introduced André to the influential dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who was successful in selling André's work, primarily abroad to American collectors. After this positive debut, André continued to participate in avant-garde exhibits, most especially the Salon d'Automne from 1904 to 1944. Like many painters of his generation who followed the Impressionists, André was not influenced by a single technique, but by a combination of many.

In addition to being a talented and successful painter, André was a respected writer and museum curator. André's monograph, Renoir (1919), is one of the most accurate contemporary accounts of the artist's work. After the First World War, he returned to Laudun in the Gard Provençal, where his family owned vineyards and took charge of the Museum of Bagnols-sur-Ceze from 1917-1954. There the artist assembled an impressive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist work by his friends, including Bonnard, Renoir, Monet, Signac, and Vollard. The museum was renamed the Albert André Museum.

Our painting, Vase de Fleurs,shows the mature development of André's Post-Impressionist style. Like fellow artists of the movement, he favored color, brushstroke, and movement over rigorous likeness to a subject. This still life of flowers in a vase emphasizes the energy and warmth of a typical provincial flower arrangement. Warm red and bright yellow flowers are accented with subtle purple and blue sprigs. The colorful red-orange fabric at right, perhaps a nod to the decorative silk industry of André's home, further balances the painting. The rounded vase itself is painted with casual strokes, but the brushwork is precise enough to indicate the light reflecting on the ceramic glaze and the earthen texture of the clay. With this painting, André has made a delightful study of contrasting colors and surfaces.

Museum Collections Include:  Musée national d'Art Moderne, Paris; Musée d'Orsay, Paris; Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; The Art Institute of Chicago, IL