Oil on canvas
19.88 x 25.75 inches (50.5 x 65.4 cm)
Framed: 27 x 32 1/4 inches (68.6 x 81.9 cm)
Durand-Ruel, Paris, acquired from the artist in 1907
Desmond Fitzgerald, Boston, acquired from the above in 1908 and sold: American Artists Association, New York, 1927, lot 181
Acquired at the above sale by the family of the present owners
Paris, Salon d’Automne, 1907, no. 1259Manchester, City of Manchester Art Gallery, Exhibition of Modern French Paintings, 1907-08, no. 226
Arsène Alexandre, Maxime Maufra, Peintre marin et rustique, Paris, 1926, p. 204
This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by Madame Caroline Durand-Ruel Godfroy.
Born in Nantes in 1861, Maxime Maufra was a French landscape and marine painter, as well as an etcher and lithographer. Maufra first began painting at the age of 18. He was encouraged to do so by two artists from Nantes: the brothers Leduc. However, he did not fully embrace his painting career right away. Being a businessman, he only painted in his spare time from 1884 to 1890. During this time, Maufra discovered the work of the Impressionists and was able to display his works at the Paris Salon of 1886. In 1890, Maufra decided to give up commerce and to become a full-time painter. He left Nantes for Brittany, where he was able to meet Paul Gauguin and Paul Serusier. Maufra had his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1894, at Le Barc de Toutteville. Returning from Brittany, Maufra was the first painter to take up residence in the Bateau-Lavoir, a famous Parisian residence for artists.
In his paintings, Maufra sometimes quotes the Pointillisit technique of Pissarro or Sisley, while also taking from the strong colors and powerful drawing of the Pont Aven school. However, Maufra remained an independent artist all his life, and dedicated his art to recording the beauty of nature.
Paysage De Printemps a Lavardin, Loir-et-Cher is a lovely example by this artist. Here Maufra depicts a French rural The village itself, white building with black roof, is in the distance. What are closest to the viewer are is the river and trees along the river bank and the orange, brown rocks that make up the coast. The sky seems to indicate either the sun setting or rising, and this palette is reflected in the water, suffusing the painting with a certain glow. The paint application is both thick and filled with motion, imparting a certain sense of energy to this tranquil scene.