This is a tough one! In the interests of, well…interest, I have chosen the painting ‘Plage à Heist’ (‘Beach at Heist’) by Belgian artist Georges Lemmen. As part of my Unit 3&4 French studies, I used this painting as a text in my oral component, when discussing the concept of beauty in the arts.
I am basically going to copy comments straight from my oral preparation for this post. I will, however, post in English rather than French. Sound practical? Hehehe…
‘Plage à Heist’ hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, but last year I was lucky enough to see it, when the Masterpieces Of Paris exhibition came to the National Gallery in Canberra. My French class went up for a weekend and saw the exhibition, and that was when I first laid eyes on what is now one of my favourite works of art.
I really love this painting. Visually, the scene is stunning – with the ‘pointillism’ technique making the image slightly hazy and giving it a dreamy appearance. The colours are beautiful; the mix of red and pink and yellow in the sky, and the blues and greens in the water all blending so smoothly.
But the thing that attracts me most to this painting (and I mentioned this in my oral as well) is that it has a ‘personal beauty’ for me. My family own a holiday house in a small coastal town, where we have been going my whole life. When I see this painting, I think of my countless sunset walks along that beach, with family and friends, alone or in a large group, on a sultry evening or in a bitter cold wind. So many of my happy childhood – and indeed, recent – memories take place in that small town, and this painting brings them all flooding back, and for that reason it is one of my favourite art pieces.