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Marsden Hartley (American, 1877 - 1943)
Maritime Alps, Vence, No. 9, 1925 - 1926, oil on canvas.
Purchase, Museum Art Fund 1960.3

The American painter Marsden Hartley was a committed Modernist. He spent much of his career touring Europe and the United States experimenting stylistically and seeking out new subject matter. In 1925 – 26 he spent time at a cottage in the village of Vence which is situated in the Maritime Alps of southern France. He was inspired by the mountain imagery and Paul Cezanne’s paintings of Mont Sainte-Victoire and painted a series of landscapes. These paintings all depict a ravine where the river Loup flows under a railway viaduct to the sea. Making use of a technique he adopted from Cezanne, Hartley builds up the forms and volumes of the landscape through blocks of color. This gives the painting physicality and dimension while the combination of colors suggests light playing across the rugged mountains and shadows falling deep into the ravine.




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