|Kandinsky's expressionist painting of an "Arabian cemetery"|
Paris in 1900 was known by artists as the ville lumière, and there, at the Café du Dôme on the Boulevard du Montparnasse more often than not, French and German painters (and some Americans and Russians) would gather to inspire one another and live their risqué lives. They called themselves the dômiers.
|Girl with Flower Vases by Modersohn-Becker|
Schmidt-Rottluff's early paintings were very similar to those by Van Gogh. If there's one thing I learned from this exhibition it is how closely allied were the French and German artists, in those days. The First World War put an end to their collaboration, of course.
Vlaminck, taking a look at Van Gogh, liberated himself from conventional colour schemes and burst out with paintings, for example, of orange, red and blue fields. As a focal point, a farmer in the fields was given a bright green shirt.
The group known as the Fauves (wild ones), formed in 1905––Kandinsky and his lover Gabriele Münter, Braque, Vlaminck, Dufy, Manguin and company, congregated at Murnau in the Alps, where the sky was a deep blue and the houses bright with colour (they painted deep blue or dark green shadows for contrast). Gabriele Münter's Wind and Clouds catches the mountain wind in motion, almost blowing the houses over. Dérain paints pink hills, and back in Paris his vivid boats at Chatou on the Seine are set in white water.
|Modjesko's transvestite "soprano"|
|Dodo, by Kirchner|
|Marquet: Beach Scene|
Matisse was asked to join die Brücke, but declined the invitation. As opposed to the impressionists, he set much store by linearity and form. Like Gauguin he loved experimenting with the juxtaposition of complimentary colours and like the young Germans he created vivid nudes, such as a bright pink one. Cézanne was another post-impressionist painter believing that the essence of things is in their structure. His apples and biscuits (imitated in another painting, by Dufy) seem startlingly 3-dimensional, but his Paysan en blouse bleue is the painting I'll remember best: done in 1897, it's the portrait of a farm worker from Cézanne's family estate in Provence, a dignified, contemplative, solidly real person.
|Red Eiffel Tower by Delaunay|
|Sleeping Woman by Feinzinger|
Canada's Group of Seven picked up a good many of these styles, but that was later. As a young man Lawren Harris had studied in Berlin, which must have given him ideas.