Beaches featured in a major thematic series of work by Maurice Denis, who had been familiar with the Breton shoreline since his youth. The painter associated the spectacle of nature with the evocation of the feminine.

Contemporaneous with Fauvism, the sunny beach at Perros-Guirec demonstrates the increase in the number of colours in works of this period. The red and yellow stripes of the bathing suits become pure plastic motifs under his brush. The Breton shoreline hemmed with waves is given a Mediterranean feel by the use of dazzling light. Linked to careful study of Cézanne’s Bathers, geometric lines dictate the disposition of the figures. For Denis, playful activity pays tribute to the divine nature of creation by virtue of its naivety. By conjuring up the beaches where he spent happy times, the artist found meaning on a human and sacred scale in the beauty of the world.

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City of Paris municipal collection's website

City of Paris municipal collection's website

The collections portal can be used to search the collections of Paris’s 14 municipal museums (approximately 336,000 works, including 43,000 belonging to the Petit Palais).

It is also possible to download around 12,000 images of the museum’s works free of charge.

Access the Museums of the City of Paris collections portal
Autre base documentaire

Extern databases

Discover a selection of databases online presenting works from the Petit Palais or documents concerning the history of the museum.