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April 26, 2011


Antibes, afternoon - 1908

Antibes - Afternoon - 1908
Artist: Henri Edmond Cross (1856-1910)

Henri Edmond Cross was a French "Divisionist" painter, though he did not paint in that style until after he had met Georges Seurat and Paul Signac who had invented the technique (they had each come across
this technique separately, then met and developed their ideas further together). Divisionist painters did not "mix" colors, but applied them as small dabs or strokes side by side so that they would "mix" when seen at a distance. This made the colors appear more vibrant.

Cross' original surname was Delacroix but he changed his name to an English version to avoid confusion with Eugene Delacroix. He was born in northern France and settled in Paris in 1881. His early paintings were in the Realist style, but he started painting in lighter colors after he met Claude Monet in 1883; in that year also he spent time in the South of France where he became interested in landscape painting. He met Georges Seurat and Paul Signac in 1884.

Although very interested in the Divisionist (also referred to as "Pointillist" and "Neo-Impressionist") technique, Cross didn't begin painting in the Divisionist style until the year Seurat died, in 1891, beginning with a painting of his wife. In the same year Cross moved to the Mediterranean coast for health reasons.

After 1895 Cross' colors became more intense and he changed from dots to larger brush strokes. He continued to modify his style (but kept to a form of Divisionism) and for a while he painted nudes and mythological figures into his landscapes. In 1897, his friend Paul Signac moved to Saint-Tropez, close to where Cross lived in Saint-Clair. In 1904 Cross met Matisse in Saint-Tropez and they became friends. Cross made two trips to Italy before the end of his life. He died in 1910.

Rocks at Trayas - 1902 - watercolor

Rocks at Trayas - 1902
Artist: Henri Edmond Cross

Note in the following painting by Henri Matisse how he had been influenced by the Divisionist technique of Seurat and his followers, as were many other artists. Divisionism (as well as other post-Impressionist styles, for instance that of Gauguin and of Van Gogh) had a particularly strong influence in the development of Fauvism, of which Matisse was a leader.

Les toits de Collioure - 1905

Les toits de Collioure - 1905
Artist: Henri Matisse (1869-1954)


Henri Edmond Cross
(There is no sound with this video.)

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