French, 1856 – 1913
A gentle and thoughtful person, and an indefatigable worker, Henry Moret discovered Brittany during his military service in the 1870s. Having trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and in the studios of Gérôme and Laurens in Paris, Moret returned to Brittany in 1886 and settled in Pont Aven where he was immediately accepted by the group of artists that gathered around Paul Gauguin. Initially drawn to Syntheticism under the influence of Gauguin, Moret’s work developed rapidly, he depicted the Breton countryside and coastline, the peasants and the fisher folk using a palette dominated by blues, greens and pinks to depict the swirling seas and soaring cliffs.
A contract with Durand-Ruel signed in 1895 relieved Moret of a considerable financial burden and enabled him to remain in Brittany and paint his beloved coastline whilst evolving his unique style. Following his death in 1913 Durand-Ruel held a number of posthumous exhibitions and in one catalogue Moret was described as having the ability ‘to express the Breton landscape exactly, … he occupies a unique place in the evolution of art at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, as he has been able to fuse together two fundamentally opposing styles: the Syntheticism of Pont Aven and Impressionism.’