Meditating with Alfred Lombard (1884-1973)

Meditating with Alfred Lombard (1884-1973)

The Autumn Salon is a Parisian artistic event which, since 1903, has allowed young contemporary artists to make themselves known, by presenting small format paintings created outdoors during the previous summer.

But in 1905, the Salon, which was now held at the Grand Palais, brought 19th century art into modernity. Under the push of new recently appointed administrators, such as Henri Matisse or Georges Rouault, the choice was made to go much further than the “pompous” of the classics, and even than the vibrant intuitions of the impressionists.

The revolution takes place in Room VII, in the middle of other large spaces bringing together recognized painters. There, a new generation of artists is experimenting with a new relationship with color. It's “like a pot of paint thrown in the face of the public”, dares a critic baffled by the pictorial energy which explodes in the paintings of Matisse, Derain, Marquet and others.

Two years later, for the 1907 Salon, the young Marseille artist Alfred Lombard joined these rebels who were quickly assimilated to “wild beasts”. Like his colleagues, Lombard has a taste for urban life, which he depicts as vibrant and busy.

In front of this small bar, for example, the ordinary scene becomes the opportunity to dare to superimpose this head – a big red dot – on a wall made of pale and dark greens, yellows and light blue. Provençal ocher thus spreads through the veins of the painting like new blood. The few lines of black are there to allow the light to diffuse more.

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