Maurice Brazil Prendergast (1859-1924)
St. Malo, ca. 1907-1910
Oil on canvas
Williams College Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Charles Prendergast, 86.18.36
Although Maurice Prendergast had visited St. Malo (and neighboring St. Servan, only two miles distant) during his 1891-94 stay in France, it was his two-month summer visit in 1907 that inspired most of his canvases. St. Malo is situated on the rugged Brittany Coast of France, an area that had drawn artists such as Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin, and Henri Matisse. Prendergast was attracted by the coastal resort town with "its high tides and ramparts," where he painted such landmarks as the lighthouse, breakwater, and Chateaubriand's Tomb, but it was the fine sandy beach with its colorful bathing tents that inspired him the most.