Date: Circa 1912
Materials and technics: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: H. 98 x w. 122 cm
Inscriptions: Signed and dedicated lower right: "à Georges Lacombe / son ami / MAURICE DENIS"
Inventory number: PPP621
Acquisition details: Gift of Joseph Duveen, 1920
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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