"Great ordeals always set off great reactions.

The ordeals of the War and the Occupation sparked a vigorous burst of energy in French painting, which in 1941 brought back to life the glorious days of Fauvism and Cubism.

Jean Marzelle emerges among the champions of this renaissance. His aspirations, partly inherited from Cézanne, seem to develop on the basis of Fauvist color and Cubist architecture.

His intense chromatism often reflects a subtle science. The painter no doubt sometimes simply juxtaposes primary colors, reds and blues in particular, whose contrast between warm and cold tones appeals to him. But he more frequently combines binaries in a very skillful fashion : sky orange and mountain violet in his views of the Sainte-Victoire mountain ; green trees and a mauve sky in a saint-Rémy-de-Provence landscape : pink clouds to the right and lilacs to the left in one of his Dutch ports.

While Marzelle enjoys the nuances of these chords, he does not renounce his penchant for kindred hues. In one of his views of Toledo, he juxtaposes violets and purples, purples and oranges, just as in another view of Saint-Rémy the salmon hue of the earth contrasts with a mauve horizon.

A rare, subdued music springs from his canvases, a music found only among today's greatest masters of color (...)"

Bernard Dorival
March 1982