Audierne Bay, Coves and Sandy Beaches

On 02 July 2019, by Anne Foster

Henry Moret, who, like the Impressionists, studied the variations of light on water, found his favourite motifs, such as fishing boats in Audierne Bay, on the coast of southern Brittany.

Henry Moret (1856-1913), Baie d’Audierne Finistère (Audierne Bay, Finistère), 1910, oil on canvas, 50 x 61 cm.
Estimate: €100,000/120,000

Very early on, Henry Moret was drawn to southern Brittany’s coast and sought to capture all its nuances. He was close to Gauguin’s Pont-Aven group but stayed on the sidelines as an observer, intrigued by some of their ideas yet remaining true to his own style. His aesthetic inclinations were closer to Claude Monet’s. Moret was not interested in the picturesque but in capturing the ephemeral, light shimmering on water and the effects of changing weather and seasons on the same motif. He would set his easel up on a heath to paint a thatch-roof cottage half-hidden by a knoll. No wonder Audierne Bay with its long beaches of fine sand, dunes, points, wind-whipped whitecaps and ceaseless ebb and flow attracted him, especially between 1910 and 1911. Here, with broad strokes he painted a sandy path leading down to a small cove where boats with colourful sails have cast their fishing nets. Some rocks dotted with pink and bright green vegetation stick up out of the water. From the foreground the gaze moves up to the dunes obstructing the horizon, surmounted by a sky with clouds. Between the coasts, thinner brushstrokes depict the strong current sprinkled with white foam, the boats’ billowing sails and various shades of green streaked with blue. "It looks as though everything here was conceived to delight the senses and lead them to perceive the admirable fusion of the elements," Jean-Yves Rolland, who prepared the artist’s catalogue raisonné, wrote in the sale catalogue. In summer 2021 the Quimper Museum of Fine Arts will host a show of Moret’s works, a consecration for this bard of the Breton coast.

A Pole in Brittany

On 09 July 2019, by Caroline Legrand

Wladyslaw Slewinski was an eminently modern artist, inspired by the Impressionist and avant-garde masters while never betraying his own personality.

Wladyslaw Slewinski (1854-1918), Nature morte aux œufs (Still life with eggs), oil on canvas, ca. 1915, 46 x 49 cm.
Estimate: €25,000/30,000

While intimate scenes like his Étude of 1897 (from the National Museum of Krakow) stood out at the 2015 exhibition "La Toilette, naissance de l’intime" (The toilette: the birth of intimacy) at the Musée Marmottan in Paris, still lifes are the focus of this sale. Both estimated at €25,000/30,000, Nature morte au fond brun (Still life with brown background), ca. 1902, and Nature morte aux œufs (Still life with eggs), ca. 1915, illustrate another influence: that of Aix-born artist Paul Cézanne. Slewinski's works were based on the science of composition, planes and perspective, but he also imbued them with a sense of unity through his soft line and colours. Wladyslawa Jaworska, author of Gauguin et l’école de Pont-Aven, described the Polish painter's art as follows: "Deep down, Slewinski was not at all a radical artist […] He did not seek to torture lines or break up contours, and while inspired by the new aesthetic, he endeavoured to tone down the extravagant decoration of Gauguin and the clear cloisonnism of Bernard through a less violent, more reflective and Cézanne-like interpretation." A further illustration of the significance of Pont-Aven as a late 19th-century artistic centre, which Slewinski joined in 1890, becoming one of the movement's most devoted exponents.

Saturday 20 July 2019 - 14:30 - Live
Brest - Hôtel des ventes, 26, rue du Château - 29200
Thierry - Lannon & Associés
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