Le Sphinx, Belle-Île-en-mer
Rennes 1887-1953 Quiberon
Le Sphinx, Belle Île, Brittany
45 x 54 cm 17 1/4 x 21 3/4 inches
Signed and inscribed: LE SPHINX/BELLE ÎLE/BRETAGNE/E GUÉRIN
A native Breton, Guérin spent his career recording the scened of traditional life in Brittany, but most notable the events associated with the churches in the more deserted regions. He depicted the local people in their traditional costumes attending celebrations or feast days in a wholly personal style which owes much to his study of medieval book illumination.
This extraordinary depiction of the rock known as the Sphinx at Belle Île off southern Brittany capture the sea at the height of the storm, a masterpiece of watercolour in Guérin's oeuvre. Although he painted other subjects on the lonely coast, there is nothing to compare with the vivid realisation of this scene.
Guerin's work is largely to be found in Brittany where the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rennes, the capital, has a collection which includes his large panorama in oil of the Church and Calvary of Saint-Jean Trolimon.