The Orientalist

Drunk with brilliant and burning colours, adoring exotic costumes and artefacts, steeped in Romantic painting (Delacroix and Chassériau among others had immersed themselves in the glitter of the Orient), deeply marked by the sparkling symbolism of Gustave Moreau without forgetting the tempered excesses of Gerôme or the Roman tableaux of academician Alma Tadema, Vincent Roux had already flirted with Orientalism when, in the middle of the 1980s, Marrakesh was to claim him. The ancient capital of Glawi not only attracted him because a part of his gilt-edged clientele began to holiday in Mamounia but also because of the pictorial possibilities that the location offered him.

 

"Journey to Marrakech" (1986): a brilliant exhibition full of promises of a renaissance whose fulfilment Destiny was to prevent. The catalogue - a precious document - stated that it was not for nothing that the artist had been the pupil of Matisse, who had not for nothing been the pupil of Gustave Moreau. Art historians would do well to examine the line running from Moreau through Matisse to Roux when insulting this 'new fauve' with the description of "socialite painter".

Jean-Michel Royer

L'Orientaliste (1986)

42 pages

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