Pointe de la Sirène, Belle-Ile-en-Mer

Henry Moret (1856 - 1913)

Oil on canvas, signed and dated 1904
Canvas size: 29 x 36in / 73 x 91cm
Frame size: 37x 44in / 94 x 112cm


Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, January 17, 1905, acquired from the artist
Galerie des Granges, Geneva, January 27, 1984, acquired from the above
Sotheby’s, London, November 29, 1989, Lot 60
Aska International, Tokyo. Private Collection


This painting is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity from Mr Jean-Yves Rolland, and will be included in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné


Henry Moret’s painting underwent a number of changes during his life, but his mature work contains an unusual fusion of the synthesist work of the Pont-Aven School, and Impressionism.  During a fruitful association with the pre-eminent dealer of progressive late-nineteenth century painting, Durand-Ruel, he attained worldwide recognition and success both in France and abroad.

Moret’s artistic training at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris began following his military service in 1875.  Although he first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1880, it was during his visits to Pont-Aven from 1888 onwards where he began to explore the less academic thinking of Gauguin in particular, although this waned after Gauguin’s departure in 1891.  As Moret’s work developed, his success grew, and in 1895 he began to exhibit work with Paul Durand-Ruel, whose network of galleries around the world had huge success promoting modern painting, particularly Impressionism. Indeed, Moret’s work became markedly more Impressionist after about 1900, with small flecks of paint replacing the broad strokes favoured by the Pont-Aven artists, and an increasing concentration on landscape painting and the effects of light.  Moret gave Durand-Ruel approximately 600 paintings, many of which were exhibited in Paris and New York, leading to international recognition.

Over the course of his career, Moret’s painting can be seen as a reflection of the seismic changes happening in European painting at the time, from the classically-orientated work of the early years to his mature more Impressionistic style.

An indication of the popularity of his work during his lifetime and beyond can be gauged by a selection of museums that hold his work; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper; Southampton City Art Gallery; the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Indianapolis Museum of Art.