One of the first coastal resorts in France, Trouville has attracted writers and artists since the early 19th century. Claude Monet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Pissarro, Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, and Gustave Caillebotte all painted on the long, sandy beaches at Trouville and its neighbor Deauville on either side of the River Touques. While both towns feature glamorous resorts and villas, Trouville is seen by some as more charming, retaining its fishing village feel while also becoming a vibrant port city.
Even in Napoleon's time, the rich and fashionable flocked to this "Queen of Beaches", enjoying the sea by day and grand palaces of entertainment by night. Elegant ladies and gentlemen stroll along Les Planches, the long, wooden boardwalk along the beach.
In this work, Camile Hilaire depicts a brilliant summer day on Trouville's famous beach. The city's signature umbrella tents frame the scene. At center, four women recline- two facing the boardwalk, out of view, and two looking out to the sea, rich with deep translucent blues and greens and dotted with sailboats. Typical of the artist there is some Cubist structure here, but overlaid with soft curving forms. The overall effect is dramatic while retaining a subtle ease. Bold, rich color masterfully conveys light and shadow. Overall an excellent example of the artist's work.
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