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Henri Manguin - Villeneuve-lès-Avignon

Henri Manguin


Oil on board: 10.6(h) x 16.1(w) in / 27(h) x 41(w) cm
Signed lower left: Manguin

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Paris 1874 - 1949 St Tropez

Ref: CL 3681


Avignon seen from Villeneuve Les Avignon


Signed lower left: Manguin

Oil on board: 10 5/8 x 16 1/8 in / 27 x 41 cm

Frame size: 19 x 24 in / 48.3 x 61 cm

Painted in 1936




Mme Henri (Jeanne) Manguin, Saint-Tropez, 1948;

her son Pierre Manguin, Paris

Private collection, France, 1969

Galerie Paul Vallotton, Lausanne, no.72422, dated 1936 (label on the reverse of the frame)

Galartis, Lausanne, 5th December 2015, lot 373;

where acquired by a private collector, Switzerland

Private collection, Spain

Private collection, Europe



Paris, Galerie de l’Elysée, Manguin, 1938, no.17

Paris, Galerie de Paris, Centenaire Henri Manguin, 1976, no.65 (wrongly dated 1939)



Marie-Caroline Sainsaulieu, Henri Manguin Catalogue Raisonné de l’Oeuvre Peint sous la Direction de Lucile et Claude Manguin, Neuchâtel 1980, p.331, no.1041, illus. (as Avignon vue de “Peyo”). 



Henri Manguin was a pupil with Matisse, Marquet, Rouault and Camoin in the studio of Gustave Moreau, a liberal teacher who sensed the ferment of originality in these young men: he told them that he was the bridge over which they would pass. They sprang to notoriety at the 1905 Salon d’Automne, with paintings in which vivid, anti-naturalistic colour is used as a vehicle to express emotion. Perspective, paramount since the Renaissance, was jettisoned in favour of eddying black lines and a pulsating picture plane. The outraged critic Louis Vauxcelles dubbed these artists ‘fauves’ (wild beasts).


Manguin first discovered the South of France in 1904, when he was invited to Saint-Tropez by Signac. From the 1920s, like his friend Matisse, he divided his time between Paris and the Côte d’Azur, renting, then buying, a house called l’Oustalet at Saint-Tropez. By this period Manguin had moved away from the hot, clashing colours of his Fauve phase to achieve a harmonious, interlinked palette influenced by the work of Paul Cézanne.


Manguin made a number of views of the beautiful countryside around Avignon from the 1920s to the 1940s[1]. This painting depicts the hills around the village of Villeneuve Les Avignon, across the Rhône from Avignon. In the distance is the city of Avignon, with the towers and battlements of the Palais des Papes, its stone glowing pink in the sunlight. Avignon was the seat of the Papacy from 1309 to 1378, after the French Pope Clement V took shelter in a Dominican friary there to escape the political chaos in Rome. Clement VII returned to Rome in 1378, but anti-Popes retained their court in Avignon. The Great Schism of two rival Popes was not ended until Martin V Colonna was elected in 1417. The presence of the Papal court made Avignon a seat of culture and learning and led to an embellishment of the city, notably in the building of the fortress-like Palais des Papes. To the left of Manguin’s view is Fort St André on the ridge of Villeneuve Les Avignon, developed by the French Kings as a riposte to the power of the clergy across the river. Many Cardinals built villas in Villeneuve, attracted by its healthy and spectacular location.


Manguin creates an airy panorama with rapid, flickering brushwork which conjures up the deep green of the pines and cypresses and the sandy soil of the maquis, the orange-tiled roofs of the farmhouses and the violet light of the distant hills.










Paris 1874 – 1949 St Tropez



Henri Manguin was born in Paris in 1874. In 1894 he entered the studio of Gustave Moreau at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, a fellow pupil of Matisse, Marquet, Rouault, Valtat and Camoin, who remained lifelong friends. In 1899 he married his muse and model Jeanne Carette and in 1902 exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Indépendents. Manguin first discovered the South of France in 1904, when he was invited to Saint-Tropez by Paul Signac, with whom he shared a love of fast cars. The dazzling Mediterranean light had a profound effect on Manguin’s work. Manguin and his friends showed paintings with emotionally-charged, anti-naturalistic colour and shifting perspective at the 1905 Salon d’Automne, provoking the critic Louis Vauxcelles to dub them ‘fauves’ (wild beasts). The following year Ambroise Vollard bought 150 of Manguin’s works.


Manguin depicted nudes, landscapes, interior scenes and still lifes in a direct, painterly style, although the palette of his later work is softer and more naturalistic than that of his Fauve period. From the 1920s, like Matisse, he divided his time between Neuilly-sur-Seine to the west of Paris and the South of France, renting, then buying, a house called l’Oustalet at Saint-Tropez. Manguin also made painting trips to Normandy, Brittany and other parts of France and to Switzerland, where he gained important patrons through his friendship with Félix Vallottan. Manguin died at Saint-Tropez in 1949. In 1950 the Salon des Indépendents organized a major retrospective of his work.


The work of Henri Manguin is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.









[1] Sainsaulieu, op. cit., no.886, 1242, 1243, 1244.


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