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T03406 Large Port of Sète 1950
Oil on canvas 44 7/8 × 63 3/4 (1140 × 1620)
Inscribed ‘DESNOYER’ b.r.
Presented by Mme Souza Desnoyer 1982
Exh: F. Desnoyer, Kunstmuseum, Lucerne, January–March 1951 (1); La Biennale Internazionale d'Arte Marinara, Palazzo dell' Accademia, Genoa, October–November 1951 (France 2, repr.); François Desnoyer: Paintings and Drawings, Marlborough Fine Art, October 1955 (25, repr.); Salon d'Automne, Paris, November–December 1960 (Desnoyer 49); Desnoyer: 50 Ans de Peinture, Musée Ingres, Montauban, June–September 1968 (51); Desnoyer; Peintures à l'Huile et Aquarelles (1930–1972), Musée Municipal d'Art et d'Histoire, Saint-Denis, October–November 1972 (35, repr.); François Desnoyer, Chambre de Commerce, Chartres, June–September 1974 (5)
Repr: Souza Desnoyer, Desnoyer: Sa Vie, son Oeuvre, ses Amis, ses Voyages, Montfermeil, 1972, p.169 in col.
Desnoyer settled at Sète on the Mediterranean coast in 1945, after the Liberation, and painted many pictures of the port there. Although the port has several harbours, there is neither a ‘large port’ nor a ‘small port’; the title simply refers to the size of the picture. In fact Desnoyer painted several other pictures of the same port, but all of them were smaller.
Pierre Fortassier, who supplied this information on behalf of the artist's widow, said that Desnoyer never painted canvases as large as this direct from nature. It must be an enlargement, made in the studio, of a small study painted on the spot on canvas or plywood; he thinks that he has seen the actual study for it but he has so far been unable to trace it again (letter of 26 March 1985).
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986