Henry Moret (1856-1913)

French

The cliffs, grassy hillsides and waterways of the western shores of France’s Brittany Coast inspired the artist Henry Moret to capture their timeless beauty in paintings. Primarily an impressionist in technical style, he developed traits through his studies at the École National Des Beaux-Arts under Jean-Paul Laurens and Jean-Léon Gerome which he used through his prolific career. Bright skies illuminate his landscapes of the Brittany Coast, with the vivid color his most prominent signature element.

In 1888, Moret moved to Pont-Aven and worked alongside his friends, Paul Gaugin and Emile Bernard. Introduced to the emotional context of symbolism, Moret preferred the plein-air methodology while keeping hold of compositional concerns of balance and subject matter. His blend well suited the region, for while France pushed forward elsewhere with industrialization, the Brittany coast retained the charm of the small, fishing and agricultural village foundation of its past.

Moret embraced nature as a force, showing the match and interaction of primal material of earth, water and air to set humanity in a small supporting role. His greens are lush with spring bloom, his sky hold blue while the waters echo another. Contrasting colors are employed to bring elements to life, and the evocation he produced on canvas are beguiling.

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