Sir Gerald Kelly

Beach at Etretât


Not on display

Sir Gerald Kelly 1879–1972
Oil paint on wood
Support: 216 × 270 mm
frame: 370 × 420 × 70 mm
Presented anonymously in memory of Sir Terence Rattigan 1983

Display caption

In the summer of 1908 Kelly made a number of oil sketches at Etretat in Normandy, which he visited for a week. He aimed to become a portrait painter, and was already sending portraits to the annual Paris Salons. The people he hoped would offer him commissions belonged to fashionable society, and Kelly was anxious to be seen at places on the social circuit such as Etretat.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

T03653 Beach at Etretât 1908

Oil on panel 8 1/2 × 10 5/8 (215 × 270)
Inscribed on reverse ‘Etretat 29 July 08/Gr. Kelly’
Presented anonymously in memory of Terence Rattigan 1983
Prov: Purchased from the artist by the donor in 1969
Exh: Sir Gerald Kelly, City Art Gallery, Plymouth, June–July 1958 (67); Sea Pictures: British Impressionist Pictures of the Sea, Brighton Polytechnic, May 1974 (11)

The artist told the donor that he painted this panel while seated on a raft moored a short distance from the water's edge and that the people on the beach are facing away from the artist since they were appalled by his clothes. Two other panels exist painted under the same circumstances: they are Etretât: From the Sea! oil on panel 5 7/8 × 7 1/8 (149 × 180) shown at Kelly's retrospective exhibition at the Royal Academy in October–December 1957 (101) and Etretât - The Beach From a Raft, oil on panel 8 1/2 × 10 1/2 (215 × 266), dated on the reverse ‘30th July 1908’, shown at the Sir Gerald Kelly exhibition at the Fine Art Society, December 1975–January 1976 (25). T03653 appears to have been painted on a wooden box lid, since there is a screw hole for a knob on the reverse of the panel.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986


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