oil on canvas
29 x 39.4 inches (73,9 x 100 cm)
signed and dated lower right
Maxime Maufra was a French landscape and marine painter, etcher and lithographer. He was born in Nantes and began to paint at the age of eighteen. Maufra was encouraged by two local artists, the brothers Leduc, and was later sent to Liverpool to train for a commercial career, returning to France in 1883. From 1884-90, he worked in commerce at Nantes, painting in his spare time. During this time, the artist became acquainted with Impressionism and was encouraged by the Nantes painter Le Roux and the sculptor Le Bourg.
Maufra had his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1894 at the Galerie Le Barc de Boutteville. There he was discovered by Parisian art dealer Durand-Ruel, the great patron of the Impressionists. In 1890, he gave up commerce and began to paint full-time in Brittany, where at Pont-Aven he met Gaugin and Serusier. He also become and remained close friends with Henry Moret and Gustave Loiseau.
Maufra admired Sisley and Pissarro and sometimes quoted their pointillist-like technique although his technique is clearly more aggressive and bold. His works also feature a pronounced liking for synthesis, strong color, and powerful drawing, traits reminiscent of Pont Aven artists. However, Maufra remained an independent and intuitive painter wedded to recording the truths of nature.
The artist seemed to travel constantly, visiting Brittany, Normandy, to England, Scotland, Belgium and the Dauphiné. In 1911 he directed a studio in Kerhostin in Brittany. In 1912 he went to the Mediterranean, 1913 to Algeria. That same year he settled in Kerhostin. Maufra died at the age of only 57 in Ponce, right at work, the brush in his hand.