CAMOIN Charles
French painter, born in Marseilles in 1879. His father, a decorator, encouraged him to paint and sent him to Paris in 1896. Camoin studied under Gustave Moreau at the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts, together with Marquet. The two of them spent a good deal of time in the Louvre, and sketched scenes from life in the streets and the music halls. From 1899 to 1902 he did military service in Arles, then Avignon, and finally Aix-en-Provence, where he visited Cézanne, with whom he kept up a correspondence from then onwards. After exhibiting at the Salon des Indépendants in 1903, he was a regular exhibitor at the Salon d'Automne until 1908. He took part in the Salon d'Automne of 1905, the year Fauvism was officially born. In 19121913 he went with Matisse and Marquet to Morocco. During the war, when he was serving in the camouflage section, he met Renoir, who made a deep impression on him. Renoir's influence, together with that of Bonnard, is noticeable in his post-war work. Camoin can be considered a Fauve, in so far as it became customary to include as Fauves (together with the great creators of the movement) a number of painters of the same generation who, in the early part of the century, evinced the same taste for striking colours. Their youthful enthusiasm prompted them to follow in the tracks of Matisse or Derain, but their quieter nature kept them within more restrained limits. Camoin is one of those painters for whom Fauvism was not a repudiation of Impression but its culmination; his sensibility places him in this tradition, rather than among the revolutionaries. Nevertheless, a certain predilection for light colours, and frequent visits to the South of France, explain his place in Fauvism. His nudes, interiors, and Mediterranean landscapes -- his favourite themes -- show his even temperament, which, throughout the countless distractions of contemporary art, has managed to preserve a note of poetic freshness and a pleasing tranquillity.
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