inspiration landscape

Au Bord de la Rivière, Marseilles

Adolphe Monticelli


Vincent van Gogh considered him a mentor; Paul Cézanne apparently found inspiration in his landscapes; Oscar Wilde even lamented selling a Monticelli in De Profundis.  But eventually the painter was eclipsed by the impressionists. His work languished for almost a century.  Recently there have been efforts to resuscitate his market. A 2008-09 exhibition in Marseille paired Adolphe Joseph Thomas Monticelli (1824-1886), a French painter of the generation preceding the Impressionists, with Van Gogh—that influential curation reminded collectors of the forgotten master.


I decided to become an artist when I was about your age. I liked to draw so much, I almost hated to go to bed. And then one day, all of a sudden, I couldn’t draw anything. Everything I drew, I didn’t like. I realized that my art up to then was a copy of someone else, things I had seen somewhere. I decided I had to discover my own style. It’s still difficult. But then, the results… They seem to be a little better than before. It’s nice to be a witch, isn’t it? I like the idea - to be a witch, to be an artist, to be a baker… It’s an energy bestowed by the gods or someone, right? Though thanks to it, we do have to suffer at times.