'Gitans sur la Plage' by Gaston Lagorre (1958)
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'Gitans sur la Plage' (Gypsies on the Beach) (1958), oil on board, by René Gaston Lagorre (1913 - 2004). It is not well known, but every May the small seaside town of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer hosts the Gitan pilgrimage. This relates to legends that date back to the 16th century. The pilgrimage takes place in the Carmargue, a vast, swampy delta near Arles. The Carmargue is extremely exotic, with tall marsh grasses where pink flamingos, black bulls and white horses roam freely. With that as a backdrop, this painting captures a Roma family taking a respite from these festivities on the Carmargue beach. In the foreground a small boy befriends one of the horses while his siblings chit-chat on a dune. The idle sail boat rests on the sand. Gypsy life and camps are a favourite subject of Lagorre's art work and their exotic looks and lifestyles must have captivated his imagination and inspired this beautiful painting. In good vintage condition with evident flaking of cover paint at the top centre of the work. Framed and signed in the lower right hand, 'G Lagorre'. On the rear of the artwork is written: 'Sainte-Maries-de-la-Mer Gitans sur la Plage G Lagorre 58'.
About the Artist: Born in New York in 1913 of French émigré parents, he returned to France in 1924. Lagorre attended the Toulouse school of Fine Arts then moved to Paris. He exhibited his work in the Salon d'Automne and Salon des Indépendents from 1954. Lagorre had a studio in Paris of course but he traveled back to his home region in southwest France where he was inspired to paint many of his well known works. As a figurative artist, Lagorre used lively colours in his paintings with subjects from daily life. He often painted farmers, shepherds, hunters and scenes at gypsy camps in the region. He also painted landscapes from the Ariège region of France, North Africa and Spain - even characters from novels like Don Quixote and Mowgly. Towards the end of his career Lagorre changed direction moving towards abstraction. The town of Seix has retained many of Lagorre's art works which are regularly exhibited for the public. An exhibit called Estivales de Lagorre has been held every summer since 2009 to commemorate his life's work. An artist now of considerable renown, Lagorre's paintings have been shown in many of the world's capitals and are collected internationally.
Dimensions with frame:
H 46 cm
W 56 cm
Dimensions without frame:
H 32 cm
W 40 cm