PALMER HAYDEN (1890 - 1973) Le Thonier à Basse Marée Concarneau.
Oil on linen canvas, circa 1927-30. 552x457 mm; 21 3/4x18 inches. Signed in oil, lower left recto. Titled and dedicated "With fondest regards to The Harold Neals from the artist" in oil, verso.
Provenance: gift from the artist; Mr. and Mrs. Harold M. Neal, Pittsburgh; Luise Ross Gallery, New York; private collection, Connecticut (1994). Harold M. Neal was an artist and educator who befriended Hayden while organizing exhibitions of African-American artists in Pittsburgh in the 1960s.
This oil painting is a scarce, early oil painting of one of Palmer Hayden's favorite subjects. In the summer of 1927, Hayden produced a group of oil paintings, watercolors and sketches along the Brittany coast. Le Thonier à Basse Marée Concarneau was painted either during this trip or shortly after upon the artist's return to New York. Le Thonier is a tuna fishing boat - images of these boats at dock are found in several sketchbook drawings of boats from Concarneau in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Two years earlier, Hayden had painted seascapes of Boothbay Harbor and along the Maine coast, one of which had won the 1925 Harmon Foundation gold medal. With his prize money, he left for Paris and finally met his idol, Henry Ossawa Tanner. Hayden left Paris for the artist colony town of Concarneau that summer and briefly returned to what had given him his first success - seascapes. Feininger-Miller pp. 79-81.