André Dauchez (1870-1948) was a French painter. He studied in Paris under his future brother-in-law, Lucien Simon. He was fascinated by Breton themes and joined “La Bande Noire” with such artists as Edmond Aman-Jean, Émile-René Ménard, Charles Cottet and Maurice Denis. He was a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. In the 1890s he created graphics, often based on his maritime paintings. From 1922 to 1932 he was the official painter of the French navy*.
Description of the painting:
We are once again in Brittany, a region in the north-west of France, located on the Brittany Peninsula, on the Atlantic Ocean. The painting, created around 1897, is a pendant to the work of André Dauchez entitled “Lighthouse”. It depicts two ships sailing the Odet river. The artist focused on showing the river bends, sheltered by picturesque hills adorned with lush green vegetation. This part of the river is often called “Les Vivre-Court”.
Two sailboats begin their journey. The sails are inflated by the wind. They cover the first kilometers of the meandering river. The characteristic shoreline, sandy banks and trees growing on the slopes leave no doubt that we are again in Brittany. The blue of the river in the foreground and the white of the spread sails contrast with the sky covered with fluffy clouds. This allows us to draw an analogy between the clouds moving across the vault of heaven and the sailboats moving across the clear surface of the river. The movement of both is dependent on the wind blowing in it. The connection is additionally emphasized by the duplication of the sky in the upper part of the painting in its reflection in the water.
The element of composition that colourfully distinguishes the two blue planes is the shoreline covered with lush vegetation. We are attracted to the lush green crowns of trees painted with bold strokes of a brush that practically merge into a single coloured belt on the horizon.
The foreground scenes are bathed in warm light. The three wooden masts of the side-view sailboat blend perfectly into the thickets of the slope. They subtly emphasize the unbreakable bond between the inhabitants of Brittany and the nature surrounding them, between the forces of which they have learned to