Albert Marquet Biography

Albert Marquet




Albert Marquet (1875-1947), painter and printmaker, was born in Bordeaux on March 27, 1875.  He moved to Paris about 1890 and enrolled at the Ecole des Arts Decoratif, where he met Henri Matisse who would become a lifelong friend and mutual inspiration. In 1892 Marquet enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he studied with Gustave Moreau. At this time, Marquet began showing at the Salon des Independants, along with Matisse, Andre Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, Raoul Dufy, and others whose work was a departure from the traditional. 

In 1900 Marquet and Matisse worked on the decoration of the Grand Palais at the Paris World Exhibition and Marquet's work began to earn attention as he exhibited more frequently, including in Russian and the United States. His paintings were hung in the Salon d'automne in 1905 alongside his peers, artists who had been focusing on pure, intense coloration and unusual perspective. This style confounded many art critics, most notably Louis Vauxcelles, who branded them "fauves" (wild beasts). The term was embraced by the art world despite the intent of the critic and Marquet, now an established Parisian painter, was given his first solo show at the Druet Gallery in 1907.

Over time, Marquet's work took on a more naturalistic feel and began to lean toward Impressionism, but his love of changing colors and contrasts remained central to his compositions. He would return to a scene time and time again to capture it at different times of day, when the shadows and the mood of the sky or the sea had changed. Though he was equally adept at figurative work, his subject matter dealt almost exclusively with landscapes and port scenes by the mid 1920s. 

In addition to painting Marquet worked in lithography and intaglio printmaking. There were a handful of suites that included original drypoints, copper engravings, or lithographs by Marquet. These include Bords de Seine of 1927, Marcelle Marty: Images d'une petite ville arabe, Dix estampes originales, and Les Grisons of 1947.

He traveled extensively throughout Europe beginning in the 1920s, and lived in Algiers between 1940 and 1945, where he produced many works depicting the port of Algiers. According to some sources, he refused all honors despite an international reputation.

 Marquet died unexpectedly on June 14, 1947, in Paris.