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Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910)

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Why I did not think of Cross before I do not know, but it is a fact that Cross is at least as import as Maximilien Luce (he painted the portrait above this blog) and Henri Le Sidaner. His name did not become the household name like the ones of Seurat and Signac became, but his works are not less important than the ones by these. Cross his works are more intimate and reflect nature mainly of the French South Coast.

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Cross became in his time one of the artists who embraced neo-impressionism and the pointillist way of painting.

Cross’s paintings of the early- to mid-1890s are characteristically Pointillist, with closely and regularly positioned tiny dots of colour. Beginning around 1895, he gradually shifted his technique, instead of using broad, blocky brushstrokes and leaving small areas of exposed bare canvas between the strokes. The resulting surfaces resembled mosaics,and the paintings may be seen as precursors to Fauvism and Cubism In the Pointillist style, minute spots of paint were used to blend colours harmoniously.

What most people do not know is that Henri Matisse was a great admirer of Henri-Edmond Cross and that the influence of Cross can be discovered in the early paintings of Matisse. This alone makes Cross of importance in Art’s history.

www.ftn-books.com has a nice title on his sketches available

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