Let’s go on holidays by the sea with Marcel Gromaire and talk about watercolours, his holiday medium.
Let’s discover three watercolours created during the summers 1931, 1953 and 1957: “Marins musiciens sur le quai”, “Etretat, les trois falaises” and “Ses trois petits enfants.”
Françoise and Florence Chibret-Plaussu
Let’s go on holidays with Marcel Gromaire
Gromaire was an essential figure of French art of the 20th century, supported by the greatest merchants, an enlightened witness of his time.
He transcribed the world of work into a very elaborate style,
The strength of his drawing is always at the service of an intense appreciation of colours.
Gromaire spent his summers on the west coast of France and watercolours were his holiday medium.
The light and atmospheres of Normandy and Brittany were his favourites: Trouville, Morgat and later Saint-Guénolé, Carnac and Belle-Ile – wild places, pretexts to paint the tumultuous splendour of the sea as well as the peace of summer.
In Trouville he rented a house on the heights away from any interruptions.
In July 1928, in a letter to his patron, Maurice Girardin, he wrote humorously:
… ‘I saw Deauville on the 14th and 15th, well it is not lacking in allure…
My colleague Foujita in a pale blue silk swimsuit and small white silk bottoms was, my God, to die for.
The artist considered watercolour as a major art.
‘It is a work in its own right’, he wrote.
He painted relatively few and created them as he did his oils, at a rate of about ten per year.
Let’s visit three watercolours created during the summers of 1931, 1953 and 1957.
The ‘Marins Bretons Musiciens’ (Brittany’s Musical Sailors) reflects the artist’s respect for the trades he considered noble and essential.
In the ‘Falaises d’Etretat’ (The Cliffs of Etretat), the rhythm of the sea takes us to the heart of the movement of the composed peaks.
The ‘Trois petits enfants’ (The Three Grandchildren) on the beach in Carnac allows us to share the intimacy of his family.
Fine, fair and lean, Gromaire’s watercolour amplifies and purifies the character of the motif.
These three works can be discovered on the walls of our gallery. An exhibition ‘Intimate Gromaire’ will be the event of the fall.
“Marins musiciens sur le quai”
“Etretat, trois falaises”
“Ses trois petits enfants”
Discover the exhibition “Marcel Gromaire, The Elegance of Strength” in the article “Let’s go to the museum la Piscine with Marcel Gromaire!”
Watch this 14-minute movie “Marcel Gromaire, Expressiveness and humanism”, directed by Maïthé Vallès-Bled and produced by the Paul Valéry Museum and the City of Sète.