Maurice Mathey has combined a beautiful garden scene with an unusual element, that of placing his own shadow within the composition. By using this device, he has permanently placed himself within his own composition in a most unique manner.
Mathey was born on January 22, 1878 in the small Swiss village of Le Locle. Situated in the Canton of Neuchâtel, high in the Jura mountains, it was an idyllic place to grow up. In fact, so captivating was the scenery, that Mathey would spend his entire life there until his death in 1975. As a young man, and showing an aptitude towards the arts, he travelled briefly to Paris where he enrolled at the atelier of Charles Cottet, the painter of landscapes and coastal scenes. Although Cottet’s teachings of the fundamentals of oil painting would have been invaluable, Mathey would not adopt his style of painting. Cottet’s sombre, and somewhat foreboding, paintings are in sharp contrast to Mathey’s bright, energetic landscapes full of color and light.
A painting by Maurice Mathey is housed at the town museum of Le Locle.