Henry Moret (1856-1913) was a French landscape and marine painter born in Cherbourg and trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts under Jean-Leon Gerome and Jean-Paul Laurens – two academic painters of note in French art history.
Moret abandoned the academic route to painting by using Impressionist techniques to depict Brittany’s coastline as well as incorporate symbolsism principles into his artworks.
Early Life and Education
Moret, in his philosophical work, refuted Aristotle and Descartes’ mechanistic materialism by proposing instead the concept of an empty real self-existing space which can only be filled by bodies. Furthermore, Moret rejected vitalism altogether while advocating a strict dichotomy between inactive materiality and active immaterial spirits.
Moret became part of Pont-Aven’s circle of artists and developed his signature style: Syntheticism. Characterized by flattened perspectives and planes of color, his interest in light effects led him to explore Impressionism; often working alongside gallerist Paul Durand-Ruel who helped promote him internationally. Moret died on May 5, 1913 in Paris France with his works now housed by esteemed institutions including National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.; Musee D’Orsay Paris and Hermitage Museum St Petersburg Russia among many others.
Henry Moret began his artistic journey during his military service in 1875 in Lorient. Jules La Villette recognized Moret’s talents and connected him with Ernest Corroller, an academic drawing teacher and marine painter renowned for French landscape painting in the tradition of Corot and Courbet painters. This training enabled Moret to enroll at Paris’s Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he was taught by Rudolf Lehmann, Jean Leon Gerome and later Jean Paul Laurens of Academie Julian in 1880.
Moret is best-known for his involvement with the Pont-Aven artist colony in Brittany and his vibrantly colored coastal landscape paintings influenced by Impressionist techniques.
Achievement and Honors
Moret’s work can be found at both the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. He first displayed at the Salon with Loqueltaz Beach at Low Tide painting exhibited for the first time in 1880 at Paris Salon; thereafter he divided his time between Paris and Brittany where he met other artists including Gauguin; living primarily in Pouldu village where Auberge Gloanec hostel is situated in Pouldu village.
Moret was posthumously honored with the Legion of Merit medal during the Guadalcanal campaign for his courageous leadership and exceptional skill as an aircraft operations officer. A Philippine base named Moret Field in his memory was also established. Moret died at 56 and was interred in Paris where his work is still exhibited around the globe.
Henry Moret was born in Cherbourg in 1856. While serving in the military, his commander introduced him to Ernest Corroller who taught plein-air landscape painting reminiscent of Jean Baptiste Camille Corot and Barbizon school landscape paintings. Later, Moret went on to study art at Paris Ecole des Beaux-Arts starting with Rudolf Lehmann before changing courses from 1880 onwards studying under history painters Jean Leon Gerome and Jean-Paul Laurens.
Early works by Moret showed their academic pedigree. He quickly developed his own unique style, which combined the naturalistic color strokes favored by Synthetics with Impressionism’s spatial compositions and rhythmic strokes of naturalistic colour used by Synthetics; his Breton landscapes of the early 1890s often reminded viewers of Paul Gauguin, and soon thereafter began experimenting with figural scenes inspired by Symbolism.
Henry Moret was an acclaimed French Impressionist painter best known for his vibrant coastal Brittany landscapes. Born in Cherbourg, Moret received traditional academic training under Ernest Corroller and Jean Paul Laurens before making his Salon debut in 1880.
His paintings can be found in the collections of museums such as Musee d’Orsay in Paris; Museums and Galleries of Wales in Cardiff; Southampton City Art Gallery; Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg; National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
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