Wally Findlay Galleries, New York
Sotheby's, New York, December 15, 2014
Private Collection, Palm Beach
The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Nicole Hambourg
Andre Hambourg was born in Paris in 1909. At the age of 17, he entered the École Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs where he studied sculpture under Paul Niclausse for four years. After completing his studies at the Academy, he entered the studio of Lucien Simon at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Hambourg had his debut solo exhibition at the Galerie Taureau in Paris in 1928 while he was still a student. Hambourg became active in the important Paris salons in the first stages of his developing career. In 1931, he was made a member of the Salon de l’Art Français Indépendant and the Salon de l’Oeuvre Unique.
Hambourg was awarded the Prix de la Villa Abd-el Ti in 1933, which gave him the opportunity to travel to North Africa. He spent the following ten years painting in Algeria and Morocco and had numerous solo exhibitions in Algeria, Oran and Paris throughout his stay in North Africa. In 1939 Hambourg served as a military reporter and draughtsman, and worked on the staff of the Journal de Commissariat a la Guerre. In recognition of his wartime contributions, Hambourg was decorated with the Croix de Guerre. Before the end of the war, Hambourg became the first French delegate to the Four Arts Aid Society. For his aid to French artists during this time, Hambourg was made a Chevalier of the Ordre de la Sante Publique.
In 1951, Hambourg’s distinguished reputation as a master of French Post-Impressionism was underscored with his receipt of the Cross of the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. In 1952, he became the official painter of the French Navy and undertook numerous international voyages aboard vessels. From these global travels, the artist brought back many sketches and preparatory drawings for future paintings and illustrations. His international trips would have a lasting influence on his artwork. Hambourg’s adventurous maritime career resulted in his receiving the honor of Laureate of the Salon de la Marine, and becoming the official painter of the Marine Ministry. During his lifetime, Hambourg gained tremendous recognition as an artist, and his paintings are included in the collections of more than fifty museums in France and around the world. His late career also awarded him with the special honor of painting a monumental mural for the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, and in 1970 Hambourg had a retrospective of five hundred of his works at the Maison de Culture in Bourges.
This charming marine scene depicts sailboats departing a Normandy harbor. Underneath a grey and hazy sky a curious crowd has collected at the docks to watch the boats. By contrast, the figures and boats are bright and colorful. In the center of the composition is a teal-colored boat with red sails that stands out brightly from the white sailed boats that surround it. The light, which pierces the sky and reflects on the water creates Hambourg’s characteristic ambiance and atmosphere, rousing the elements to life.