Henri-Edmond CROSS (1856-1910)

Originally from the north of France, Cross studied at the Beaux-Arts in Lille, then in Paris. Having rapidly abandoned academic life, he associated himself in 1884 with Seurat, Signac and the group of future neo-impressionists. In 1891, at the time of Seurat’s death, he adopted the divisionist technique. He moved permanently to the Var region, close to Lavandou and indulged his taste for the outdoors, his love of light colours and the division of tones. Over time, he distanced himself more and more from reality. He imagined mythical landscapes, heathen festivals, undulations of light, pure streams crushed by the sun, a sort of paradise, suggesting the search for eternal happiness.

The subject became a pretext for pure harmonies of lines and colours. A bold user of colour, he did not hesitate to radically change colours according to his imagination. Torn between the desire to imitate nature and the will to exceed it, he pushed chromatic wealth to its paroxysm and influenced Matisse in 1904 during his stay in the south in his work towards Fauvism.

The most recent exhibitions dedicated to his work: 2008 – 50 watercolours in Galerie de la Présidence, 2011/2012 ‘Cross and Neo-Impressionism in the Marmottan-Monet Museum then in the Matisse Museum in Château Cambrésis.


Henri Edmond Cross
"Etude pour Mère jouant avec son enfant" C.1899-1900
oil on panel 33 x 24 cm

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Henri Edmond Cross
"Le lavandou" C.1899-1900
pastel 23 x 30cm

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