ALBERT MARQUET was born in Bordeaux, France in 1875. He moved to Paris at the age of fifteen to train as an artist. In 1897, Marquet was accepted to the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. There, he became lifelong friends with Rouault and Matisse. Matisse and Marquet were accepted in Gustav Moreau’s painting class in 1897. In 1900, they worked together at the Paris World Exhibition to decorate the Grand Palais.
Marquet’s initial works were strongly influenced by the Fauves. They displayed the characteristic bright and wild colouration. He particularly enjoyed the effect of mixed complimentary colours. His works displayed innate control of drawing and responded strongly to light using colouristic terms. In 1905, Marquet participated in the group exhibition at the “Salon d’Automne” with Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck. It was at this exhibition that their critics first named the Fauves. In 1906, Albert Marquet began travelling extensively. He explored France, Germany, Holland, North Africa, Russia and Scandinavia, before resettling in Algiers. In 1907, he returned to Paris shortly, where he and Matisse painted a series of city views. It was only in 1945, that he returned to Paris permanently.
During his travels Marquet developed a unique style that he maintained consistently thereafter. He dispensed with pure colours to paint in the reserved, linear style of Impressionism. He began painting landscapes in a naturalistic style. Harbour scenes were used to depict the Impressionist reflections of light on the water surfaces. The paint was applied in thin layers of predominantly grey and black. Some of his most important harbour scenes were painted in Marseilles, Rouen, Le Havre, Venice, Naples and Hamburg. Marquet painted several nudes during this period. He also visually examined the effect of light on the Seine in Paris at various times of day and in different seasons. Marquet cultivated a particular fondness of a grey, misty or rainy atmosphere.
Marquet died in La Frette-sur-Seine, on June 14, 1947.
Albert Marquet : port de marseille, 1923-4, aquatint, ed10, signed, 15.75 x 19.6