Contemporary, Modern Art and Old Masters

Auction 177 - 5 December 2020

Contemporary, Modern Art and Old Masters Lot 75

Auguste Herbin (France / 1882 - 1960)
La terrasse de café (1907)


€ 260 000 - 340 000

Art dealer van Wisselingh & Co, Amsterdam 1962
"Herbin. Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint" Geneviève Claisse, Éditions du Grand-Pont, Lausanne, Bibliothèque des Arts, Paris 1993, nr. 120 reprod.
Art dealer van Wisselingh & Co, Amsterdam (1962)
coll. S. Frenk, Rotterdam
Art dealer van Wisselingh & Co, Amsterdam (1999)
private collection, The Netherlands (since 2001)


1907 was the year in which Auguste Herbin's fauvism reached its climax. At the Salon des Indépendants he exhibited alongside André Derain, Georges Braque and Maurice de Vlaminck. In spring he traveled to Corsica, where the bright light and the rich colors encouraged the artist to push the boundaries of his figurative expression. His most important fauvist artworks were created during this period and were exhibited at the fifth Salon d'Automne in the Grand Palais in Paris.

"La terrasse de café" shows a volatile street scene sketched in vigorous brush strokes. In the background, large areas of soft colors create a bright light, against which the flashy greens, oranges and reds fiercely stand out. Applied instinctively, they form trees and passers-by that make the surroundings vibrate. The energy reflected in this artwork, is undoubtedly influenced by Herbin's stay in Corsica and by his interaction with contemporaries at the Salons.

The terrace offers a unique view of the scenery. Herbin composes an atypical perspective, inspired by the upcoming photography. The tables and chairs on the foreground appear to by carelessly cut off to create the idea of a snapshot. The overhanging awning closes the framing. Our gaze is drawn further into the composition by the repetition of the tables and chairs, that have been simplified into circles and forms defined by solid black lines – a harbinger of the artist's evolution towards geometric compositions.

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