Maurice de Vlaminck (April 4, 1876 – October 11, 1958) was a French painter, printmaker and author. Along with André Derain and Henri Matisse he is considered one of the principal figures in the Fauve movement, a group of modern artists who from 1904 to 1908 were united in their use of intense color.
Maurice de Vlaminck was born to famous musician parents in Paris. As a youth he studied violin, and planned on becoming a professional cyclist. He began taking drawing lessons in 1893, and painted on the Ile de Chatou with a painter named Henri Rigal. In 1894 he married Suzanne Berly, and gave violin lessons and raced professionally in order to support his family. His racing career was ended by a bout with Typhoid fever in 1896. After this he joined the military, serving as a musician in his regiment.
On June 18, 1900, while on military leave, he met André Derain, with whom he soon rented a studio on the Ile de Chatou and began to paint. In 1902 and 1903 he wrote several mildly pornographic novels which were illustrated by Derain.
For the next few years Vlaminck lived in or near Chatou, painting and exhibiting alongside Derain, Matisse, and other Fauvist painters. At this time his exuberant paint application and vibrant use of color displayed the influence of Vincent van Gogh, and, more generally, his compositions suggested a familiarity with those of the Impressionists, several of whom had painted in the same area in the 1870s and 1880s. Those motifs which he most favored, like the Pont de Chatou, were revisited many times.
From 1908 his palette grew more monochromatic, and the predominant influence was that of Cézanne. In 1911 Vlaminck traveled to London and painted by the Thames, and in 1913 painted again with Derain in Marseille and Martigues. In World War I he was stationed in Paris, and began writing poetry. Eventually he settled in the northwestern suburbs of Paris. He married his second wife, Berthe Combes, with whom he had two daughters. From 1925 he traveled throughout France, but continued to paint primarily along the Seine, near Paris. His later work displayed a dark palette, punctuated by heavy strokes of contrasting white paint.
A practiced story teller, Vlaminck wrote many autobiographies, marred little either by lack of confidence or adherence to the truth.
Vlaminck died of old age in Rueil-la-Gadelière on October 11, 1958.
Biographical information from Wikipedia.