From a high viewpoint we look down on a wet and wintry Place de Clichy in Paris. Camoin has reduced the foreground monument and the surrounding buildings to strong dark and simplified shapes which he sets off against the lightening sky. Human activity is suggested in tiny, quick, slashes of black.
A brilliant draughtsman, Camoin captures the gestures and mood of the hurrying figures with their bowed heads and shoulders. He suggests too something of the pace of city life in the hasty reflections shining from the wet streets.
Camoin, along with Derain, Matisse, Vlaminck and Marquet, was a member of the group known as the Fauves. Meaning 'wild beasts', this term of derision – was coined by a journalist on seeing their works at an exhibition in Paris in 1905. Their bold and dramatic canvases used heightened colour and simplified form, and were a deliberate rejection of Impressionism. The Fauves wanted to communicate how nature made them feel, rather than just painting what was in front of them the emotions they experienced in front of nature rather than transcribing what they saw.
Where to see this painting?
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Argyle Street, Glasgow, Scotland, G3 8AG
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.
More on this painting
presented by the Trustees of the Hamilton Bequest, 1957