La plage de Saint-Jean-de-Monts signed 'Lebasque' (lower right) oil on canvas 50.9 x 71.2cm (20 1/16 x 28 1/16in). Painted in 1917
This work is sold with a photo-certificate of authenticity from Madame Denise Bazetoux dated Maison Laffitte, le 23 septembre 2011 and will be included in the forthcoming Supplément au Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre d'Henri Lebasque.
Renowned for its long stretch of sandy beach, the coastal town of Saint-Jean-de-Monts in Western France was a popular destination for artists. Lebasque painted several views of this beach in 1917, with a few further compositions being completed during the years 1920-1922. Many of these works are close-up portraits of women relaxing in deck chairs or emerging from a bathe in the sea, but the present work shows the extensive stretch of sand in all its glory. Dominated by a wide, over-arching sky, the composition is filled with light and space. Known as a painter 'of joy and light' by his contemporaries, Lebasque depicts a happy family day at the seaside. Children are seen playing in the sand by the windbreaker and a young woman's gauzy skirt lifts lightly in the warm breeze that the artist so easily evokes here.
Influenced by his fellow Nabis and Intimists, Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, Lebasque favoured calm domestic subject matter throughout his career. Often using his own family as models, his settings would commonly include sun-drenched terraces, idyllic gardens or light-filled beaches, such as depicted in the present work.