LES QUAIS DU PORT DE BASTIA
29 by 23 3/4 in.
73.7 by 60.4 cm
Painted in 1907.
Signed Herbin (lower right)
Oil on canvas
Private Collection, France
Paris, Galerie Resche, Herbin 1903-1909, 1989, illustrated p. 13
Céret-Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Musée d'Art Moderne-Musée Matisse, Auguste Herbin, 1994, illustrated p. 36
Geneviève Claisse, Herbin, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, 1993, Lausanne, no. 114, illustrated p. 299 and in color p. 34
Richard Gassen and Lida von Megden, Auguste Herbin : der Pionier der geometrischen Abstraktion in Frankreich- le pionnier de l'art non figuratif en France (exhibition catalogue), Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen am Rhein, 1997, illusrated p. 53
It was between 1906 and 1907 that Herbin completely embraced Fauvism. In March 1907 he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants alongside Derain, Vlaminck and Braque and in October of 1907 Herbin exhibited additional Fauve works at the fifth Salon d'Automne at the Grand Palais. At the invitation of Wilhelm Uhde, Herbin spent the spring of 1907 on the island of Corsica. The present work is part of a series of some fifteen paintings which Herbin executed during this Mediterranean sojourn of the quays, ports, and surrounding countryside (Genevière Claisse, op. cit. nos. 104-119).
With its vibrant colors and vigorous brushwork, Le quais du port de Bastia typifies Herbin's Corsica series, inspired by the high-key Fauve scenes which artists like Derain, Matisse and Braque had been painting in Collioure, Saint Tropez, La Ciotat and L'Estaque. The present painting is a dazzling mosaic of color, posing a sharp contrast to the relatively sober, restrained scenes of Lille and Paris which Herbin executed in the first few years of the century. Les quais du port de Bastia reveals the inspiration the artist found in the brilliant Southern light of Corsica.
Fig. 1 Auguste Herbin, circa 1907