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Fisher Women of Cancale Augustin Feyen-Perrin


Augustin Feyen-Perrin Bey–sur–Seille 1826 – 1888 Paris

Date 1881
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on canvas

118 x 158 cm

Inventory number 80.B
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

Augustin Feyen-Perrin, an artist who is now somewhat forgotten, became popular in the last quarter of the nineteenth century as a painter of the women in Cancale. The small town on the Breton coast, home to oyster farming and fishing, inspired many compositions that usually depict the everyday lives of local women.
His painting held by the Museum of Fine Arts, many variations of which are known, was very successful in 1881 at the Salon exhibition in Paris and at the autumn exhibition of the Hungarian National Fine Art Society. Its theme is the so-called “pêche à pied”, meaning the collecting of fish and snails in shallow water at low tide. The composition focuses on three Cancale “Graces” walking barefoot in simple, unadorned attire in the wet sand, gracefully returning home with their baskets full. Their attractive, slender, yet noble and radiant figures emerge in front of a cloudy sky, the slight worm’s-eye view lending a kind of monumentality to their appearance. True to the poetic naturalism characteristic of him, Feyen-Perrin did not depict the strain and fatigue of physical labour, but rather conjured up an idealised picture of traditional fishing life.

Anna Zsófia Kovács

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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