Friday 22 June 2012

Artists at Étretat, France - part 1

I have visited Étretat more than once, and find it a magical place. You are instantly drawn to the beach and it's extraordinary topography. Étretat is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Haute-Normandie region in northern France. It’s best known for its cliffs which have famous natural arches formed into them. These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863), Gustave Courbet (1819 – 1877), Eugène Boudin (1824 – 1898) and Claude Monet (1840 – 1926), and were featured prominently in the 1909 Arsène Lupin novel The Hollow Needle by Maurice Leblanc.

Part 1 of this post will feature the Étretat works of Delacroix, Corbet, and Boudin. Part 2 will feature the Étretat works of Monet.

Two of the three famous arches seen from the town are the Porte d'Aval, and the Porte d'Amont. The Manneporte is the third which cannot be seen from the town.

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (1798 – 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school. Delacroix's use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. Some see him as the link between the classic style of the old masters and the modern movements that arose in the 19th century.

1838 The Pied du Cheval, Étretat

c1859 Cliff at Étretat

Falaises d'Étretat

The Porte d'Amont, Étretat 
pastel 15.7 x 20.6 cm


Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (1819 – 1877) was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. The Realist movement bridged the Romantic movement (characterised by the paintings of Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix) with the Barbizon School and the Impressionists. Courbet occupies an important place in 19th century French painting as an innovator and as an artist willing to make bold social commentary in his work.

1866 The Cliffs at Étretat

1869 Boats on a Beach, Étretat

1869 The Cliff at Étretat, the Porte d'Aval 
oil on canvas

1869 The Sea-Arch at Étretat 
oil on canvas 79 x 128 cm

1869-70 The Cliff at Étretat after the Storm 
oil on canvas

c1869 Bay with Cliffs 
oil on canvas

1870 Cliffs at Étretat 
oil on canvas 66 x 82 cm

Cliff at Étretat

Eugène Boudin (1824 – 1898) was one of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors. Boudin was a marine painter, and expert in the rendering of all that goes upon the sea and along its shores. His pastels, summary and economic, garnered the splendid eulogy of Baudelaire, and Corot who, gazing at his pictures, said to him, "You are the master of the sky."

1890 Étretat, La Falaise d'Aval 
oil on canvas

1890 Étretat, Le Falaise d'Aval 
oil on panel

1890 Étretat, The Amont Cliff in November 
oil on canvas 50 x 60 cm

1890 Étretat, The Falaise d'Aval at Sunset 
oil on canvas

1890 The Laundresses of Étretat 
oil on canvas

1890-94 Étretat, Boats Stranded on the Beach 
oil on panel

1890-94 Étretat, the Cliff of Aval 
oil on canvas

1890-94 Étretat, Beached Boats and Falaise d'Amont 
oil on canvas 46.4 x 65.4 cm

c1890-94 Étretat, Beached Boats and the Falaise d'Aval (study) 
oil on panel 37.7 x 55 cm

c1890-94 Étretat, Laundresses on the Beach, Low Tide 
oil on panel

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