Cross, Beach at Vignasse, The Golden Isles

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
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
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The life and work of Henri-Edmond Cross (1856–1910) took a decisive turn in 1891, the year of Seurat's death, when he embraced the Neo-Impressionist movement. This was also the year he left Paris and moved to Saint-Clair, in the Var, near his friend Signac. There he discovered the joys of the Mediterranean countryside, which served as an endless source of inspiration for him.

Beach at Vignasse, The Golden Isles is part of a series of five of the region's landscapes presented at the Salon des Indépendants in 1892. Cross used the technique of pointillism, invented by Seurat, which consists of painting in small dots of primary colours (red, blue, yellow) and complementary colours (orange, purple, green), based on the principle of optical mixing.

In the foreground, the mauve shadows of the bushes cast by the summer sun blend into the pink and gold hues of the sand. Cross focuses a play of light on the sea that spreads to the tips of the islands of Porquerolles and Port-Cros, referred to as the "golden isles". The horizon line brought to the top of the painting, the apparent simplicity and the stylization are inspired by Japanese prints.

For twenty years, Henri-Edmond Cross endlessly experimented with brightening his works with pure, vivid colours, which served as inspiration for the Fauve painters at the dawn of the 20th century.

The artist died prematurely in 1910. It was not until eleven years later that his studio was sold at a public auction. This is where Le Havre collector Olivier Senn, who had already purchased several watercolours by Cross, acquired this major artwork, as well as a substantial number of drawings, painted sketches and watercolours. All of these works joined the MuMa collection in 2004 through the Senn-Foulds donation.

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