On this day in 1879 a great French painter Othon Friesz was born in Le Havre, France. His father and grandfather were connected with sea – the first one was a shipbuilder, and the second – a sea captain, so Othon was supposed to inherit his profession. However, his mother cultivated in hi love for music and fine art. So Friesz studied at the Le Havre School of Fine Arts in 1895-96 under Charles Marie Lhuillier (a teacher of Raoul Dufy and Georges Braque) and then went to Paris together for further study.
If the man subject of his early works ha sea harbours and ports, as well as portraiture, after moving to Paris Friesz demonstrates interest to impressionism with the concentration on cityscape. After meeting Henri Matisse and Georges Rouault, Othon jined Fauvism. Since 1905, in his large-scale works, he uses the technique of pure colour contrasts.
However, after WWI the artist removed from that style of his earlier colleagues and his contemporaries. Having abandoned the lively arabesques and brilliant colors of his Fauve years, Friesz returned to the more sober palette he had learned in Le Havre from his professor Charles Lhuillier and to an early admiration for Poussin, Chardin, and Corot. He painted in a manner that respected Cézanne’s ideas of logical composition, simple tonality, solidity of volume, and distinct separation of planes. A faint baroque flavor adds vigor to his (most known for) landscapes, still lifes, and figure paintings.
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