Henry Moret French, 1856-1913


Henry Moret was born in Cherbourg, France in 1856. He studied in the studios of Jean Léon Gérôme and J. P. Laurens at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris between 1876 and 1880.


In 1881 Moret travelled to Finistère, in Brittany. Drawn to the vibrant international community of a new artists' colony in Pont-Aven, the artist would develop a life-long fascination with the area. Moret was particularly interested in depicting the everyday lives of the local villagers and fishermen. By 1896 he moved to the area permanently, settling in the port of Doëlan. He was to spend the rest of his life in the region and painted a significant number of landscapes depicting the craggy edges of the coastline and the quotidian bustle of local life in the seaside villages.


Initially influenced by Paul Gauguin - who he met in 1888 - Moret went on to develop a singular style; distinctively combining rhythmic strokes of naturalistic colour evocative of the Impressionists with the dynamic spatial composition favoured by the Synthetic style.


Moret often visited Paris to show his paintings at the Salon d'Automne and to meet with Paul Durand-Ruel, a highly respected art dealer who regularly exhibited Moret’s work from 1895 onwards. Durand-Ruel and Moret kept in close contact throughout the artist's life, and Durand-Ruel’s respected endorsement of Moret was a privilege to which many artists aspired. 


Moret’s works have been widely exhibited and collected throughout Europe and are held in numerous public collections including the Musée d'Orsay, Paris; the Hermitage, St Petersburg, Museum of Reims, Reims and The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.