Manguin, a central figure within the fauvist group and life-long friends of Marquet, Camoin, Valtat and Matisse, executed his most original and important work in these ‘fauve’ years between 1905 and 1908.
Participating in the famous ‘Cage aux Fauves’ in 1905 and then, immediately after, exhibiting at the Carnegie Institute, at the Tuileries and at the Venice Biennale, not even Matisse had shown so much talent and promise in his early years. In 1906 the famous patron Ambroise Vollard bought no less than 150 of Manguin’s paintings and in 1907 his first solo exhibition was held at the Galerie Eugene Druet, who was to represent him thereafter.
Manguin divided the year in which this work was executed between Paris, and his studio on the Rue Boursault, and the Villa Demière, near Saint-Tropez. In 1904 he had been invited by Paul Signac to Saint-Tropez and, immediately captivated by the light and beauty of the region, discovered Demière, located in a blissful spot, secluded among pine trees and overlooking the sea. Manguin found the times he spent here with his family immensely inspiring and they prompted many important works.
Manguin had met Jeanne, his first wife, some ten years earlier. He had been moved to find out who was playing the beautiful piano melody he heard whilst he was at work in La Percaillerie and they fell instantly in love, marrying three years later. Jeanne, with her ethereal beauty, was to be his primary model for thirty years and was always to encourage him in his work.