John Singer Sargent painted The Oyster Gatherers Of Cancale in 1877, while on a trip to the coast of Brittany, in Cancale. The painter spent a summer there observing and sketching the local people. Sargent completed a painting from a sketch that is very similar to this artwork, entitled Fishing for Oysters at Cancale which was displayed at the avant-garde Society of American Artists of New York, his first work shown in America.
The painting entitled The Oyster Gatherers Of Cancale was the second version of the scene but done with much more detail and on a larger scale than the first. Sargent sent this artwork to the Paris Salon of 1878, and it was praised by the critics, even granting the artist an Honorable Mention. At the time, Sargent was only twenty-two years of age and wasn’t very well-known in the art world. The scenery of the painting was in ancient lands on the west bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, and the surroundings were filled with breathtaking landscapes. Most of the men were away during his visit, as they would travel far into the ocean in search of a big catch of fish that might pay very well. Because of their absence that lasted as much as six months, the women would make do with what they had, and that was oyster harvesting.
The subject matter of this artwork can be compared to the Realist paintings of workers in the wheat field, but with a mixture of Classic references like from the baroque artist Diego Velazquez. The painter was able to capture a typical scene in a realistic manner, but without losing the atmosphere of a painting. When observing The Oyster Gatherers Of Cancale from afar, the artwork is similar to photography, but close the brush strokes make themselves visible – comparable to how the Impressionists worked, but they did not achieve this level of realness.
The painting shows two central female figures, wearing caps and holding baskets to collect oysters by the sea. There is a woman with a child in front of them, as well as behind them. The background shows more people walking towards the sea. The women seem tired and have some glare hopefully into the distance. The blue sky reflects on the puddles of water that form over the sand.
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If you have any request to alter your reproduction of The Oyster Gatherers Of Cancale, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of The Oyster Gatherers Of Cancale that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
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