Feb 10, 2020

The Pink Cloud

The Pink Cloud

c. 1896

Henri-Edmond Cross

(French, 1856–1910)

Oil on canvas

Unframed: 54.6 x 61 cm (21 1/2 x 24 in.)

Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.106

Did you know?

Drawn to the beauty of the landscape and the climate that improved his chronic rheumatism from its state in Paris, Cross moved to the south of France where he made a home with his wife, Irma Clare, in Saint-Clair, a small village near the coast.


Henri-Edmond Cross adopted the Neo-Impressionist technique of applying small dots or dashes of pure color in 1891. Around 1896, as seen in this view of a spectacular cloud, he shifted toward larger, more emphatic brushstrokes, often surrounded by areas of white to achieve greater color intensity. His daring use of pure, abstract color and decorative design significantly influenced Henri Matisse and the French Fauves (Wild Beasts). Beyond exploring scientific principles of color theory, Cross was an anarchist who associated the poetic beauty of abstract design with the values of an ideal, utopian society.

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