COTTET, Venice

Charles COTTET (1863-1925), Venice, ca.1895-1896, oil on canvas, 73.2 x 92.5 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Charles COTTET (1863-1925)
Venice
ca.1895-1896
oil on canvas
73.2 x 92.5 cm
© MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
HD image
In 1896, Charles Cottet exhibited at the Salon de l’Art Nouveau a series of paintings brought back from a trip to Venice he had made two years earlier. Thadée Natanson, defender of the Nabi movement, wrote an article in La Revue Blanche on Cottet's views of the Venetian lagoon: "Venice is not what his art describes, nor is Venice the subject of his notes: not the legendary floating city, not the shimmering canals, not the splendour of the palaces shining in the bright sun, not the gondolas nor their colourful drivers. What occupied him [...] was the sea, the sea with its mist, the sea and its colours filled with intense or icy light, the sea from which Venice originates, but above all the sea with its clouds wrapped in banners of all colours, the waves of opalized ashen jade; the dark waves, the blood-red waves, the brilliant islets, the glory of the waves [...] the waves with glints of molten metal [...]"
 
Indeed, Charles Cottet avoided all stereotypes and local clichés to recreate highly original views of Venice. Comprised of a strip of water and a strip of sky joined at an almost intangible horizon line upon which the artist set the ghostly cityscape, the artwork is a prime illustration of Cottet’s astonishing paintwork. The texture of his painting is so fluid all the contours of the buildings appear to be done in a wash. Muted blacks and barely shaded greys delicately delineate the blocks that gradually become tinged with the pale light of the setting sun. The reflection of the churches and palaces in the water is but a shapeless shimmer, with a transparency that calls to mind a glaze. The background of the painting was evenly brushed with an undercoat of grey, which the artist lets show through in his sky and within the outlines of the buildings. The central section is the finest part of the artwork, demonstrating a rare mastery of execution.
 

Artworks in context : Post-Impressionism (16)

Félix VALLOTTON (1865-1925), The Waltz, 1893, oil on canvas, 61 x 50 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel
Henri Edmond CROSS (1856-1910), Beach at Vignasse, The Golden Isles, 1891-1892, oil on canvas, 65.5 x 92.2 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel
Édouard VUILLARD (1868-1940), Children Reading, 1906, oil on board, 14.5 x 26 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Pierre BONNARD (1867-1947), Interior at the Balcony, 1919, oil on canvas, 52 x 77 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel — © ADAGP, Paris, 2013
Paul SÉRUSIER (1864-1927), The Corydon Shepherd, 1913, oil on canvas, 73 x 99 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel
Charles COTTET (1863-1925), Mountain, ca. 1900-1910, oil on board, 53 x 74 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Jules Léon FLANDRIN (1871-1947), La Pavlova and Nijinsky, 1909, oil on board, 52 x 67.3 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn — © ADAGP, Paris, 2015
Pierre LAPRADE (1875-1931), Saint-Trojan, Terrace, oil on canvas, 60 x 73 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Paul SÉRUSIER (1864-1927), Hill with Poplars, 1907, oil on canvas, 73.3 x 54.4 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel
Paul SÉRUSIER (1864-1927), Still Life with Reeds or Primrose and Corn, 1904, oil on canvas, 60.5 x 73.5 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Félix VALLOTTON (1865-1925), The Top Hat, Interior or The Visit, 1887, oil on canvas, 32.7 x 24.8 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel
Félix VALLOTTON (1865-1925), Still Life with Apples, 1910, oil on canvas, 38 x 46 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / David Fogel
Félix VALLOTTON (1865-1925), Roman Bridge at Cagnes, 1923, oil on canvas, 73.5 x 60 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Pierre LAPRADE (1875-1931), Bouquet of Wild Flowers, oil on canvas, 61.5 x 38 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Charles COTTET (1863-1925), Venice, ca.1895-1896, oil on canvas, 73.2 x 92.5 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn
Charles COTTET (1863-1925), Sudanese Village (Aswan 1895), 1895, oil on paper pasted on panel, 32.3 x 41.5 cm. © MuMa Le Havre / Florian Kleinefenn