French painter, graphic artist, and writer. Largely self-taught, he was an early Fauve, best known for his vibrant, brilliantly coloured landscapes, as in The Pool of London 1906 (Tate Gallery, London). He was also a writer of poetry, novels, screenplays, and essays; and a violinist, racing cyclist, farmer, and collector of African art.
He began to study painting at the age of 19. He was greatly impressed by the van Gogh exhibition of 1901, and made the typically Fauve announcement that ‘one should paint with pure vermilion, Veronese green and cobalt’, and he was associated with Matisse, Derain, and others in the fauvist salon of 1905.
By 1908, however, Cézanne had become the chief influence on Vlaminck, and his mature work did not pursue the implications of using pure colour, becoming more sombre and expressionist in mood. His work was now marked by heavy impasto and sudden transitions from dark to light, which gave dramatic effect to the stormy skies and snowbound villages of his characteristic landscapes. He also painted still lifes in the same manner.
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