Born to French parents, after an introduction to art in his native country from the Brothers Ludec, Maxime Camille Louis Maufra studied the basics of business commerce across the Channel and up the coast of Britain in Liverpool. He also imbued himself of that storied port’s tradition of marine art. While his career influences would take him in greatly diverse directions from those technical ship portraitists, the ocean he experienced in his journey would never leave the artist.
Colorful landscapes and marine settings dominate Maufra’s chosen subjects. In admiration of Pissarro and Sisley, he flashes a pointillist style within his paintings, but with a strict brushwork of tight flows and heavy palettes. It is more than just technique that makes his works: his ability to radiate emotion and mood with subtle influence of Nature is superb. He is capable of being powerful and aggressive on canvas, especially his use of vibrant colors, while building upon his Impressionist and Pointillist influences to be intuitive and manipulate his sources of light on canvas in expert fashion.
Maufra came to the Pont Aven in 1890, and among the hundreds of artists he associated directly with Paul Gauguin. He also established professional friendships with two others: Henry Moret and Gustave Loiseau. The three artist would come to signify the evolution of Plein-Air French Impressionism with their common love of the sea and region and their unique sensibilities of the beauty and power of the natural setting on the Brittany Coast.
Maufra first exhibited in the Paris Salon in 1886, and held a one-man exhibit in 1894 at Le Barc de Toutteville, Paris. He was represented by Paul Durand-Ruel, and today is in more than a dozen of the world’s museum collections.