Auguste Herbin was a French painter who worked in many styles before settling on abstraction. Early in his career, he worked in the postimpressionist, fauvist, cubist, then New Objectivist styles. Herbin abandoned figurative painting in 1927, shortly before he developed the Abstraction-Creation movement, which emphasized pure geometric shapes and bright colors. His artwork can be seen as a bridge between the Cubist movement and post-war geometrical abstract painting.
Notre Dame, Paris was painted in 1908 at the highpoint of the Fauvist movement, an avant-garde style of painting that broke from Impressionism in its undisguised brushstrokes and vivid expressionistic and non-naturalistic use of color. The present painting is a remarkable demonstration of Auguste Herbin’s uninhibited talents as a colorist. Bright colors paint the sky and the tree line, which partially obscures the cathedral, in tones of orange, yellow, blue, and green. Artwork by Auguste Herbin is included among the permanent collections of the Tate Modern and Tate Gallery, London, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, among others.