This work holds an interesting blend of people enjoying beach-side leisure as painted by artist Francois Gall. Done in an artistic spirit harkening back to Eugene Boudin and other famous 19th Century Impressionists, Gall also imbues some unique elements within his bathing homage to those who came before him. Foremost, a woman undresses to reveal more skin and an animal-print racer back bathing suit that would have been en vogue right in the 1940s period the painting was created. Around her, the style of the beach-goers and tents are harmonious with late 19th and early 20th Century fashion.
An interesting clue to Gall’s world vision may exist with the two children playing in the sand at the left foreground, a mound created with a prominent blue-white-red French national flag inserted into its shape. Is this possibly a nationalist French scene, and Gall is transporting viewers back to a simpler time? Several bathers prep and change among the striped beach tents and others are in rather formal Sunday-best outfits, including a young woman working her braid in the center foreground. The combination of highly desirable subjects of people at leisure at the ocean-side with Gall’s excellent artistic talent makes this a top work.
A bit of pier is visible at a distance, and the harbor appears to have a significant width, so it is possibly Douranenez or another western-facing Brittany Coast location. The wet sand closer to the surfline shows a gentle slope, and the suggestion of sails on the water exist to various degrees. The colorful setting and fabrics are even more amplified by the graduations of gray clouds, very much in homage to Boudin’s best paintings.
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