Alfred Maurer • American: 1968-1932
Still Life With Red Vase • Gouache - Paperboard 29” x 25-1/2”
Paris, 1906. On a hot, humid August day, in a salon only blocks from the meandering Seine, a 38 year-old American artist met the great French modernist, Matisse. Until then, Alfred Maurer had painted in an “acceptable” style, often compared with great realist portrait masters John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer. Maurer had lived a charmed life for 38 years. He was successful. He was in Paris. He was handsome. And, he was on the verge of convincing a demanding father that his son was, indeed, an artist of style and note … just like his father.
Then the world turned from North to South. Alfred Maurer, handsome bon vivant of the Paris art scene, but a shy momma’s boy in his native New York, discovered modern art in all its bold, colorful, curious beauty. Matisse, along with Maurer’s friends Leo and Gertrude Stein, guided his path into a new world.
Gone was his commercial popularity. Vanished was any chance of earning his father’s favor. Remaining was a sense of artistic fulfillment in the magical “City of Lights.” This was enough until World War I chased Maurer home to New York.
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