Richard Green brings a further sparkle of sunlight to Palm Beach’s fine February weather with an outstanding group of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and British paintings. They include:
Marc Chagall’s Le grand bouquet, painted in 1978, a painting that explores a much-cherished subject in Chagall’s oeuvre, that of romantic still lifes. It is thought that his bouquets, much like the artist’s perennial theme of the bride and groom, was inspired by the artist’s relationship with his first wife, Bella Rosenfeld. Their relationship was one filled with happiness and its strength had a great impact on not only the artist’s life but his career. Chagall believed that colour directly influences the soul and in Le grand bouquet his palette appears heavily influenced by the luminosity of the Côte d’Azur, the beautiful coastline he had once explored with Bella.
From the Mediterranean hues of the sun-drenched French Riviera, to the wide, cloud-flecked skies of Normandy, Eugène Boudin’s most celebrated subject – the beach of Trouville – is magnificently captured in Trouville, scene de plage, painted in 1873. Boudin’s beach scenes of the 1860s, use strong, clear colours and quite precise detail. By 1870, when this painting was made, Boudin’s brushwork had become freer and more Impressionistic, blending his frieze of figures together in a hubbub of chatter and movement, here fashionable urbanites are transported in their finery from the drawing rooms of Paris to the great expanses of the Normandy coast.
Eugène Boudin was a crucial precursor of Impressionism with his insistence on painting en plein air and this practise is evident in his masterful depiction of light. The fleeting effects of sunlight as it pierces through the delicate fabric of a parasol or as it falls on the multitude of textures that clothe his crowded holidaymakers, Boudin’s use of light creates a natural luminosity in this distinctive beach scene as he captures the bourgeoisie at play on the pale sands of Trouville.
In a likeness to the ladies of Trouville, the young Madame Helleu has strategically placed her parasol, using it to protect herself from the brisk breeze of the sea air. Madame Helleu sur le Bird, painted in 1899, depicts the beloved wife of Paul Cesar Helleu as she enjoys a day of leisure, relaxing on the bridge of the artist’s yacht, Bird, the first of many he would come to own. In Madame Helleu sur le Bird, the young Alice, her lithe, elegant figure swathed in pale colours that Helleu adored, is dressed exquisitely. Her shimmering form, shot through with coloured shadows of lilac, grey, buttermilk and eau-de-nil, is thrown into contrast with the royal blue of the sea. Madame Helleu sur le Bird, painted with long licks and dabs of colour, conjures the speed of the yacht as it races through the water, the vitality of the handling creating a distinct sense of movement.
In a return to the romance of the still life, Roses, painted in 1889, is an outstanding example of the poetic flowerpieces of Henri Fantin-Latour. Fantin was the supreme painter of roses, delighting in their complexity, their softness and the way they trapped light and shadow. Supremely disciplined and devoted to his calling, Fantin trod a delicate line between realistic description and the sensuous quality of paint. In Roses, the dramatic focus is on a loose oval bouquet of pastel blooms, with more flowers spilling into the right foreground, culminating in a perfect, creamy-yellow rose face-on, close to the spectator. The white, cream, buttermilk and cuisse de nymph émue hues are offset by the shiny, dark-emerald rose leaves and by a deep burgundy rose half-hidden in the shadows. The light hangs on the contours of each flowerhead and the lip of each petal. As this soft light rolls and curls over each rose, Fantin creates a bouquet that combines the harmony of composition with the acute observation of nature.
View the highlights for sale below
Wednesday, 15 February, 2017 -
Tuesday, 21 February, 2017
Palm Beach County Convention Center
650 Okeechobee Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33401