The Life and Works of Henri-Edmond Cross

February 25, 2022
Pines on the coastline poster

Henri-Edmond Cross was a French painter and printmaker and was one of the most acclaimed masters of Neo-Impressionism. He is also known for being a great influence on many artists, especially Henri Matisse, as well as to the development of Fauvism. 

He was born in the commune of Douai in northern France and the only child of Alcide Delacroix and Fanny Woollett. Henri-Edmond Cross studied under Carolus-Duran, Francois Bonvin, and Alphonse Colas. When he moved back to Paris in 1881, he enrolled at the Ecole des Beaus-Arts to work with Emile Dupont-Zipcy. 

Early years as an artist

It was in 1881 that Cross began painting and exhibited his work for the first time at the Salon des Artistes Francais. During his early years as an artist, he met with several artists who have influenced him immensely with his works. Some of the key personalities were Paul Signac and Claude Monet. Henri-Edmond Cross was one of the founders of the Societe des Artistes Indepemdats, which is known for having members of avant-garde artists. Through this group, Cross met other artists such as the pioneer of Neo-Impressionism Georges Seurat. 

Later period

A decade later, Cross created paintings using the Neo-Impressionist technique that he is best known today. One of his famous works, Madame Hector France, portrays his lover Irma Clare which he married in 1893. Together with Paul Signac, the two hosted other artists such as Henri Matisse and Andre Derain. The two artists also developed a technique that used broader brushstrokes to create a looser version of Pointillism. This technique, later on, became known as the second generation Neo-Impressionism. 

During his older years, Cross began experimenting with styles with watercolors painted in front of nature. With his newly discovered style, he boasted to his colleagues that he somehow felt freedom and enjoyment. In 1905, he had his first solo exhibition at Galerie Druet in Paris in which 30 paintings and 30 watercolors were exhibited. Impressively, Cross was gaining popularity and became productive even before his demise due to cancer. 

His legacy

Even though Cross lived and became popular in the late 19th century, he had a great influence on younger painters in the following century. His abstract and expressive use of pure color had a significant impact on the group of artists who later on became known as Fauves. The exhibits, like the one held at the Musee des Impressionnismes, Giverny in 2018, were also significant in the development of 20th-century modernism. Some of the popular works that can be seen framed and displayed in many places these days have titles like, Women Tying the Vine, Madame Hector France, Evening Air, Landscape, The Flight of the Nymphs, Pines on the Coastline, and Pines Along the Shore. 

The beauty of Cross’s paintings in your rooms

It is common to see paintings displayed in anyone’s home. These artworks are perfect if you want to have a personalized room atmosphere. There are tons of paintings to choose from and many of them will add pops of colors. What makes them more interesting is that they can set the mood and create a theme that will make any living space look amazing. Even modern homes deserve a touch of classic. This can be achieved with the display of classic art like the works of Henri-Edmond Cross. A large-scale framed art can instantly be the focal point of any room. Be unique and make your wall look lovely.