Oil on canvas
Unframed: 54.6 x 61 cm (21 1/2 x 24 in.)
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.106
Drawn to the beauty of the landscape and the climate that improved his chronic rheumatism from its state in Paris, Cross moved to the south of France where he made a home with his wife, Irma Clare, in Saint-Clair, a small village near the coast.
Henri-Edmond Cross adopted the technique of applying pure colors in small dots or dashes, called Pointillism, in 1891. Around 1895, as evident in this view of a spectacular cloud, he shifted toward larger, more emphatic strokes, often surrounded by areas of white to achieve greater color intensity. His daring use of pure, abstract color and decorative design significantly influenced Henri Matisse and the French Fauves, who also favored bold, unnaturalistic colors. Beyond exploring scientific principles of color theory, Cross was an anarchist who associated the poetic beauty of abstract design with the values of an ideal, utopian society.
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