Fine Art

Henry Moret

French, 1856-1913

La jetée à Doëlan

1906
Oil on canvas
20 x 24 inches (51 x 61 cm)
Framed: 30 1/2 x 34 1/2 inches (77.5 x 87.6 cm)
Signer lower right: Henry Moret

Provenance:

Walker Kimball and Company, Boston, MA, c. 1908
Mr. & Mrs. George W. Mehaffey, Boston, MA, c. 1908
Mr. & Mrs. Graham Tyler by descent 1934
Mr. & Mrs. Harry Cattrell by descent 1981
Kendall Fine Art, 2006
Private collection, VA

Literature:

This work will be included in the catalogue raisonné on the artist being prepared by Jean-Yves Rolland.

Henry Moret’s painting consistently evolved throughtout his life, but his mature work contains an unusual fusion of the synthesist work of the Pont-Aven School, and Impressionism. During a fruitful association with the pre-eminent dealer of progressive late-nineteenth century painting, Durand-Ruel, he attained worldwide recognition and success both in France and abroad.

Moret’s artistic training at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris began following his military service in 1875. Although he first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1880, it was during his visits to Pont-Aven from 1888 onwards where he began to explore the less academic thinking of Gauguin in particular, although this waned after Gauguin’s departure in 1891. As Moret’s work developed, his success grew, and in 1895 he began to exhibit work with Paul Durand-Ruel, whose network of galleries around the world had huge success promoting modern painting, particularly Impressionism. Indeed, Moret’s work became markedly more Impressionist after about 1900, with small flecks of paint replacing the broad strokes favoured by the Pont-Aven artists, and an increasing concentration on landscape painting and the effects of light. Moret gave Durand-Ruel approximately 600 paintings, many of which were exhibited in Paris and New York, leading to international recognition.

Over the course of his career, Moret’s paintings can be seen as a reflection of the seismic changes happening in European painting at the time, from the classically-orientated work of the early years to his mature more Impressionistic style.

An indication of the popularity of his work can be gauged by a selection of premier museums which exhibit his paintings; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper; Southampton City Art Gallery; the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Moret traveled to Pont-Aven to work with Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard. He traveled to Doëlan, the archetypal little Finistère fishing port tucked into an estuary near Pont-Aven, as he had the habit of doing since 1894. It was here that he painted La jetée, a striking composition of movement and color. The lively impressionistic brushwork is apparent in the blue sky with yellow and lavender cottony clouds. It is a delightful summer’s day, sailboats are sailing close to the shore as well as far out on the sea where the sky merges with the sea at the horizon. Thick impasto and a change in the direction of a brushstroke create sense of movement and energy which is evident throughout the whole painting and even in the smallest details such as the grass in the foreground.