Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Bordeaux and Art

The rippling light of Bordeaux's vineyards has inspired many famous painters over the centuries and doubtless the great wines of Bordeaux have helped their artistic endeavours. The city of Bordeaux itself was home to the painters Lhote, Marquet and Redon and many other artists found their muse amongst the bustling docks and wine barrels there.

André Lhote (1885 – 1962) learnt wood carving and sculpture from the age of 12 when his father apprenticed him to a local furniture maker to be trained as a sculptor in wood. He became interested in Cubism and his paintings stand alongside some of the fathers of modern art.

Albert Marquet (1875 – 1947) was also a sculptor as well as a painter and was associated with the Fauvist movement. He is best known for his paintings of boats, docks, ships and French quaysides. Fauvism was a style of painting which used strong colours and representational values – it takes its name from Fauves which is the French for wild beasts. The leaders of the
movement were Henri Matisse (who was Marquet's room mate for a time) and André Derain.

Odilon Redon (1840 – 1916) was a symbolist painter and print maker. Redon started drawing as a young child, and at the age of 15, he began formal study in drawing but on the insistence of his father he switched to architecture. His failure to pass the entrance exams at Paris’ École des Beaux Arts ended any plans for a career as an architect and back home in his native Bordeaux, he took up sculpture, etching and lithography. In the 1890s he started to use pastel and oils and was awarded the Legion of Honour in 1903.

Although these landscapes are rare examples of the artists work – most of their more famous paintings are instantly recognisable – you can see that the beautiful countryside of their native land never left their hearts!

Images Courtesy of

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