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Pluie a Venice

Period 1950-1979
Materials Oil in Canvas
Dimensions
W. 18.125 in; H. 10.5 in;
W. 46.04 cm; H. 26.67 cm;
Creation Date 1968
Description “Pluie a Venice” is painted in Hambourg’s preferred palate of muted blue-green, grey, and gold with splashes of ruby red, deep blue, and emerald green. The soft colors work well for beach scenes and rainy days such as the ones portrayed in this painting. The Impressionistic scene shows multiple pedestrians strolling down the boardwalk, shielding themselves from the rain with colorful umbrellas that provide pops of color and balance the overcast sky.

The background contains a three-masted ship and Piazza San Marco’s famous bell tower and Basilica. Hambourg uses the minimum number of brushstrokes necessary to portray ships, seagulls, buildings and people – as well as reflections on the glistening sidewalk. The brushstrokes in the sky have an interesting texture that is controlled yet carefree and there is heavy impasto throughout. His portrayal is both realistic and romanticized.

Hambourg was clearly influenced by the great Impressionist artists of earlier generations, perhaps none more than the one with a direct connection to his family. Hambourg’s wife, Nicole Rachet, was born into a family with a large collection of works by Impressionist master Eugene Boudin. Rachet’s grandfather was a contemporary and friend of Boudin’s, and a collector of his work. In their later years, Hambourg and Rachet donated over 300 canvases by Boudin and other artists to the Eugene Boudin Museum in Honfleur, France. It was such a large and important gift that the collection bears their names to this day.

Like Boudin, Hambourg was inspired by the changing quality of light over water, and used subtle tones to depict sea and sky, accented with pops of bright color. Any like many great Impressionists, Hambourg’s inspiration came from direct observation and a desire to elevate scenes of everyday life into extraordinary works of art. Even during his lifetime Hambourg enjoyed the distinguished reputation as the “Grand Gentleman of French Post-Impressionism.” A glance at this painting makes it easy to understand why Hambourg’s popularity is on the rise. “Pluie a Venice” is truly a superb example of his work.

Verso: A.H. Printemps (19)68
Provenance: Wally Findlay Gallery, New York
Styles / Movements Impressionism, Other
Incollect Reference Number 126701
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