Musée d'Orsay: Henri-Edmond Cross Afternoon at Pardigon

Henri-Edmond Cross
Afternoon at Pardigon

Afternoon at Pardigon
Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910)
Afternoon at Pardigon
Oil on Canvas
H. 81; W. 65 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Gérard Blot

Après-midi à Pardigon [Afternoon at Pardigon]

For Henri-Edmond Cross, landscape painting was closely linked to his experiments into light and colour. As Maurice Denis noted, he opted to "represent sunlight, not through bleaching the colours, but by enhancing shades and using strong contrasts".

Cross liked hot and sunlit landscapes, and in his notebooks spoke of the "enchantment of the sun" in the Mediterranean landscapes of the Midi. He was, moreover, one of the first painters to work regularly in this region.
The technique of separate brush strokes and the juxtaposition of pure colours remained for him a way of suggesting the brightness of the light. His more intuitive approach distinguished him from Seurat's Divisionism. So the form of the brush stroke brought rhythm and balance to the painting. Finally, his use of arbitrary, dazzling colours brought him closer to the young Fauvist painters around 1905, and in particular to Matisse, to whom he introduced the Neo-Impressionist technique.

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