Henri Edmond Cross

1856 Douai - 1910 Saint-Clair (Var)

Henri Edmond Delacroix was born in the French city of Douai in 1856. The artist began his career at the age of 22 as a student in the studio of the painter Alphonse Colas in Lille. In 1881 he continued his painting studies in the Parisian studio Dupont-Zipcys. The passionate open-air painter preferred to stay on the French Mediterranean coast and assumed the stage name Cross in 1883. By participating in the Salon des Indépendants, where he played a major role in 1884 and in which he exhibited regularly from 1891 until his death, he encountered the new style of the Neo-Impressionists, which had a lasting impact on him. Being invited to participate in the exhibition by the founder of “Salon Les XX” in 1886, Cross witnessed the artist's first breakthrough on Belgian soil. While the portraits and still lifes of his early work are still kept in the dark tones of realism, the painting of his wife Madame Hector France, who was married in 1893, already shows significant influences of the neo-impressionist style in technology.

He moved to southern France in 1891, first to Cabasson, then to Saint-Clair and was accompanied a year later by Georges Seurat, who settled near St. Tropez and associated a lifelong artistic and friendly relationship with Cross. Together they held meetings in Cross Garten with other artists, including Matisse, André Derain and Albert Marquet.

In 1895 Cross took part in the exhibition of "La Libre Esthétique" for the first time. Camille Pissarro (1830 - 1903) and Signac also exhibited there. On the initiative of Harry Graf Kessler, who was to become Cross's most important collector, the first neo-impressionist exhibition in Germany was held by the Galerie Keller and Reiner in Berlin with works by Cross, Signacs, Luces and van Rysselberghes. Other international exhibitions followed, including the "Phalanx" in Munich (1904), the Arnold Gallery in Dresden (1904), the Druet Gallery (solo exhibition in 1905; 1909) and "The Golden Fleece" in Moscow (1908). On May 16, 1910, Cross died of cancer at the age of 54. His grave in the Le Lavandou cemetery is adorned with a bronze medallion of Théo van Rhysselberghe. In the summer of 1910, his paintings were shown in the Sonderbund exhibition in Dresden and the following year in the Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne. Today his works are in international private and public collections.