Fernand M. E. Legout-Gérard

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Biography of Fernand M. E. Legout-Gérard ( 1854-1925 )

Fernand Le Goût-Gérard was born in Saint-Lo in the Manche region of France in October 1854. He developed an early interest in painting and from the age of fourteen he occupied himself in copying works of eighteenth century masters. However family pressure soon forced him to abandon his passion in favour of a career in the general treasury of La Manche. Fortunately, he eventually managed to pursue his love of painting whilst holding down a job at the bank, as his grandfather had done before him. Le Goût-Gérard lived in Paris from 1880 to 1890 where he continued to work tirelessly at his art. There, he met the painter Meissonnier, who provided Le Goût-Gérard with his first opportunity at the time of the general exhibition of 1889.
The master’s son introduced Le Goût-Gérard to the thriving artistic community of Concarneau, where the artist was to spend much of the rest of his life.

In 1903, he bought a villa in the town in which he installed a studio with a magnificent view across the breadth of the bay. Concarneau was to remain a central influence on Le Goût-Gérard throughout his life as a painter. Markets and fairs were amongst Le Goût-Gérard’s favourite subjects. He greatly enjoyed setting up his easel in the midst of the bustling crowds of the Concarneau marketplace, and recording the activity that surrounded him. He took great pleasure in the conversation and camaraderie of ordinary people. This is clearly reflected in the authenticity of the characters in his work. An artist dedicated to realism, he enjoyed experimenting with light and shade, and strove, in many of his paintings, to capture the nuances of the rising and setting sun. His success in doing so is vividly displayed in his depictions of the departure of fishing boats in the morning and their return at sunset.
He did not confine himself to Brittany and painted in locations as diverse as Venice, Greece, and North Africa. However, Brittany was his first love and he remained loyal to the region for life.
His particular love of Concarneau is clearly reflected in the many works he painted there.

Our painting is a typical example in which he depicts the bustling activity of daily life on the quayside as the fleet returns from sea.Tall sails fill the painting and reflect their colours of orange, red, green, blue and yellow ochre on the calm water of the harbour. The same colours are mirrored in the costume of the fishermen and women who have come down from the village in traditional dress to fill their baskets. In the distance, under a sky of billowing clouds, the artist completes the scene with an inspiring view of a hazy summer landscape.

32 avenue Marceau
75008 Paris, France
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