Title: Hastings: the Front.
Signed and dated: Theodore Roussel 1908.
Dimensions: 6.75×10 inches. Framed: 13.75×16 inches.”
Hastings is a seaside town in East Sussex on the south coast of England, south east of London. In the 19th and early 20th century, when this painting made, the railway enabled ordinary tourists and visitors to reach the town, and it became a popular seaside resort.
What I love about this painting:
I love watercolors. The medium allows for a dreamy atmosphere, and in this case, the artist has presented us with the impression of a sundrenched afternoon at the seashore. Roussel’s work grew more atmospheric as he grew older, but he was known more for his classically depicted nudes than as an impressionist. However, it’s clear he had an eye for impressionism and the ability to show a story with watercolors.
Tourists stroll along the breakwater in front of the hotels, wearing broad hats and coats. Like many days at the beach on the Washington Coast, where I live, even in summer the wind often carries a chill.
About the Artist, via Wikipedia:
Theodore Casimir Roussel (1847–1926) was a French-born English painter and graphic artist, best known for his landscapes and genre scenes. He came to painting late, in 1872, after his military service had ended, and he was entirely self-taught. His earliest works were scenes of daily life, rendered in the style of the Old Masters. In 1878, he moved to London and, two years later, married the widow Frances Amelia Smithson Bull (1844–1909), a distant collateral relative of James Smithson. In 1885, he met James McNeill Whistler, who became a lifelong friend and mentor.
Credits and Attributions:
Hastings: the Front by Théodore Roussel, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Wikipedia contributors, “Theodore Roussel,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Theodore_Roussel&oldid=896039278 (accessed December 3, 2020).