(French, Arras 1899-1990 Sotteville)

Red ball on the beach

Oil painting on cardboard 21.6 x 18.1 in. (55 x 46 cm.)


Provenance: Private Collection, Belgium


The Artist

Henri Saint-Clair, native of Normandy in France, is a post-impressionist who is known as one of the painters of the French life at the coast of the Normandy region. He moved to Sotteville close to the pretty harbour of Honfleur.

At the beginning of his artistic career he was an art restorer for the French National Museum, including the Louvre.

His creative period stretches from 1920 till 1970, only to be interrupted by the German occupation between 1941 and 1945.

The colours and the cheerfulness of the paintings of Raoul Dufy were of great inspiration to him. Furthermore, Saint-Clair was interested in the painting style of Eugène Boudin and studied his work thoroughly. In Honfleur, he worked with the artists André Hambourg, Fernand Herbo and Jacques Bouyssou jointly in a studio for some time.

His favourite subjects were his family, his relatives, beach scenes, vacation, everyday attitudes sketched with a steady hand. Henry Saint-Clair captured scenes at the beach of families in strong shades, set at the coast of the Normandy in places such as Deauville, Honfleur and Trouville.

The artist’s preferred medium was oil on cardboard, which defines his unique manner of painting. He paints his characters with tenderness and humour and his line and colours go to the essentials. From his paintings emerges a great emotion, a sense of life, of happiness, as if time had stopped.