A regatta off the Crozon-Morgat Peninsula of the Brittany Coast proceeds before the casual watch of several people along the seaboard. Life in France is in full post-war bloom, while the twenties are roaring across the pond in America. Lebasque was by this moment firmly positioned within the annals of art as an important contributor to the evolution of the profession. This work is a great example of his blending of impressionist, fauve and modern styles.
With half the fleet under cast shadow and the lead yachts breaking forth to brighter illumination, the race is secondary to the figures in wonderful period dress along the foreground. The women at right are likely his daughters, with a lady in an identical white dress and hat identified as Nono in other works. She and her sister Marthe posed often for the artist in the early 1920s. It is interesting to note that although he trained early on as a portraitist, after Lebasque’s service as a war artist during World War I, he painted idealized figures without individual facial characteristics.
Lebasque and his family traveled widely during his life, visiting England, Italy, Spain and Switzerland, as well as nearly every corner of France. His progression as an artist involved similar journeys: as well as working in most media, he designed pottery and tapestry, painted religious statuary, murals and later, in concert with his friend and neighbor in Le Cannet, Pierre Bonnard, nudes. Texture, color and light presented through his works are the crowning achievement of the versatile artist, and are apparent here.
Authenticated & illustrated in a catalog raisonné on the artist by Madame Denise Bazetoux
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