Restaurant "La Machine" at Bougival (1905)
Oil on canvas – 60 cm x 81.5 cm
It was in 1900, after meeting Derain, that Maurice de Vlaminck decided to become a full-time painter. Landscapes, particularly the Seine around Paris, were one of his favourite subjects. Here is the village of Bougival and more particularly the restaurant "La Machine" which he has chosen as a sjbjrct.
To paint the buildings, Vlaminck has moved off the path just after a bend in the road. Although he has chosen a compositional model dear to the Impressionists, he has framed it much more closely.
The colour and brushstrokes also contribute to a very individual kind of construction which has something of the work of Vincent van Gogh. He has used dynamic brushstrokes which structure the forms and the thick paint favoured by the Dutch master. The strokes change according to the effect he was trying for – rounded in the coloured areas in the foreground, longer in the tree and ductile in the buildings.
It was also after his observation of Van Gogh’s work that Vlaminck’s palette lightened until it became a burst of pure colours straight from the tube. Exhibited in 1905 at the third Salon d’Automne, The Restaurant "The Machine" at Bougival stood alongside the works of artists who were soon to be dubbed "Fauves" by the critic Louis Vauxelles. (Once more thanks to Musee D’Orsay)