Henri Edmond Cross (1856-1910)
Henri Edmond Joseph Delacroix known as Henri Edmond Cross was born on 20 May 1856 at Douai. His father's cousin, Auguste Soins, quickly discovered that the young boy had a talent for and an interest in painting and drawing. He encouraged him to pursue this path, offering him financial support. Cross was later a student of Carolus Duran, Alphonse Colas and Dupont-Zipcy. In 1883, he rejoined his parents and Auguste Soins in Monaco where the Mediterranean landscapes inspired him and became a recurrent theme in his work. The following year, he exhibited his canvases at the first Salon of Independent Artists, of which he was a founding member along with his Neo-Impressionist friends. In 1891, he settled in the South of France for good. Taking inspiration from the scientific writings of Chevreul, the theories of Fénéon and the paintings of Seurat, he and Signac looked into the division of colour and light as well as their interaction, the contrast of tones, the use of complimentary colours and the effects of reducing the palette to the colours in the prism. Using small, regular and uniform touches he recreated a radiant and idyllic nature where man could take his place in balance and in harmony. Cross was divided between his desire to objectively reproduce reality and his desire to surpass it, but worked primarily on liberating colour until his death in 1910.