La Ramasseuse de Coquillages, Bretagne
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fine art painting
fine art painting
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fine art painting
fine art painting
fine art painting
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Francois Nicolas Augustin Feyen-Perrin

French ( b.1826 - d.1888 )

La Ramasseuse de Coquillages, Bretagne

  • Oil on panel
  • Signed lower left

Image size 17.1 inches x 10.4 inches ( 43.5cm x 26.5cm )
Frame size 21.3 inches x 14.2 inches ( 54cm x 36cm )


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Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original oil painting by Francois Nicolas Augustin Feyen-Perrin, dating from around 1850 to1880.
The painting is presented and supplied in its original frame (which is shown in these photographs). The reverse of the frame has a most interesting and not often seen substantial supporting structure. The painted surface and the frame have benefitted from cleaning and conservation, which took place in 2021 on our instructions.
This antique painting is in excellent condition, commensurate with its age. It wants for nothing and is supplied ready to hang and display.
The painting is signed lower left.

François Nicholas Augustin Feyen-Perrin, known as Auguste Feyen-Perrin, was a popular and successful French artist, engraver, illustrator and photographer. He was born on 12 April 1829 at Bey-sur-Seillie, Department de Meurthe-et-Moselle, Lorraine, France. His father was a tax collector and his older brother, Jacques-Eugene Feyen was also an artist. As a child Feyen-Perrin displayed a precocious artistic gift, and his brother persuaded their father to let Auguste pursue a similar career. His brother served as his first teacher, giving him drawing lessons, before he commenced a short period of study at Nancy. He then entered the Êcole des Beaux Arts in Paris where he was a student of Léon Cogniet and Adolphe Yvon.
Feyen-Perrin’s first works were scenes for the Théâtre Italian; he then devoted himself to history, including religious and mythological themes.
He became a life-long friend of Jules Breton and together with his brother, these artists spent their summers in Cancale, where he was inspired to paint the everyday life of the Breton people. He and his brother became recognised as the best-known painters of fishermen in the region and his portraiture studies of the ordinary folk were recognised as excellent. Although he was devoted to realism Feyen-Perrin sometimes embellished his subjects, particularly the female characters engaged in the rough work of the sea, to emphasise their elegance and dignity. Later in his career his work became stylistically closer to symbolism that Impressionism and he found his niche in the artistic world of the time.
He was a member of the Paris Salon from 1848 to 1882, where he exhibited for most of his life and was a great favourite with the public, winning medals in 1865, 1867 and 1874. His early exhibition works were submitted as “Augustus Feyen”, but from 1857 he added his mother’s maiden name and became known as “Feyen-Perrin”, to distinguish himself from his elder brother, who was also a frequent Salon participant.
Feyen-Perrin was a close friend of Gustave Courbet and worked with him at two organisations that Courbet presided over during the Franco-Prussian War: the Museum Commission and the Federation of Artists, created in 1871 during the Paris Commune. Despite the potentially compromising activity, he maintained his respectability with the Republican establishment and was decorated with the Legion of Honour in 1878.
Many of Feyen-Perrin’s paintings were acquired by public institutions and today his works can be found in various public museums throughout France, including Aix-en-Provence, Angers, Arras, Epinal, Le Mans, Nancy, Paris (Musée d'Orsay), Rheims, Toulon, Tours and Troyers. Feyen-Perrin died on 14 October 1888, aged 62, in Paris. He is buried at the Cimetiére de Monmartre, Paris, where his grave is adorned with a monument carved by the sculptor Ernest Guilbert.

© Big Sky Fine Art

The title of this original oil on panel work by Auguste Feyen-Perrin is La Ramasseuse de Coquillages, Bretagne. This translates as the ‘Picker of Seashells’, in the Bretagne region of France. It was painted in the period of the Second French Empire and depicts a young woman standing on a rocky pathway on the seashore. In the background we view the pale blue sea of the Atlantic and the curved coastline, fading into the distance. The young woman is dressed in the typical dress of the time; a simple long black skirt, and apron with pockets, a long-sleeved white blouse and brown woollen scarf wrapped around her shoulders. She wears the traditional headdress of the women of the area; a white cotton fabric head covering edged in lace. She is carrying a round woven basket, which she will fill with seashells. She has her eyes cast downwards and stands patiently. This painting captures both a modest simplicity and inherent dignity. The colours are muted and there is a very subtle delicate light, with a hint of sun in the sky; a very classy piece.

© Big Sky Fine Art

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