La Rochelle: fishing boats at the Quai des Dames, in front of the fish market

The view looks north from the basin of the inner harbour of La Rochelle, across the Quai des Dames and up the Rue Saint-Jean-du-Perot to the 17th-century entrance of the fish market which, after complete redevelopment, reopened in 1982 as La Coursive, the city's modern cultural centre. The building itself was originally a convent of Carmelite friars dating from 1655, which became a tobacco factory after the French Revolution, the fish market from 1847 and a sports centre from 1950 until all but the historic external facades and a fine internal cloister was demolished in 1979 in the conversion to its current purposes. The broad Quai des Dame in front, which runs east from the harbour entrance at the Tour de la Chaine is today a filled with restaurants and bars catering to historic La Rochelle's thriving tourist economy.

Through the use of strong blocks of red, blue and yellow colour, Everett has used simplified shapes to convey the scene. The brightness of the walls of the buildings and red roofs contrast with the deep blue tones of the sky. The freshness and vivacity of the image demonstrates the influence of the Fauves with their emphasis on exuberant colours juxtaposed to create atmosphere, light and a sense of place. Everett visited France on a great many occasions between 1899 and and 1938, to sail and to paint. Previously titled 'Harbour Scene, France', the subject was specifically identified in May 2015. There is another, slightly looser oil version of the same view including the market entrance (BHC1393) and at least two more apparently of boats at another point along the same quay (BHC1846, BHC1852).

Object Details

ID: BHC1408
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Everett, (Herbert Barnard) John
Date made: 1920s
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Bequeathed by the artist 1949.
Measurements: Painting: 325 x 437 mm

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