Maurice de Vlaminck was born in Paris on April 4, 1876 to bohemian musician parents. He, too, would become a talented musician, sometimes earning a living with his violin. He was a professional cyclist until his athletic career was cut short when he contracted Typhoid fever in 1896. Eventually, he joined the military. While on military leave, he met André Derain. Vlaminck had little art training, and only began to paint seriously after collaborating with André Derain. His artistic style was strongly influenced by Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cézanne.
Henri Matisse, Derain, and Vlaminck created the Fauvist art movement, marked by bold, non-naturalistic colors and seemingly chaotic compositions. Vlaminck often used thick applications of paint squeezed directly from the tube onto the canvas, resulting in pure, intense colors. He exhibited with the Fauves at the Salon d'Automne in 1905. The Fauve movement was short-lived, and by 1908 Vlaminck's compositions were becoming more orderly, with more subdued colors.
Maurice de Vlaminck died of old age in Rueil-la-Gadelière on October 11, 1958.