ArtworksJames Wilson MorriceStreet Scene, Brittany (Concarneau), 1909 (circa)1865-1924Sold
Inscriptionsstudio stamp, 'STUDIO J.W. MORRICE' (verso, middle); inscribed in ballpoint pen on a label, ‘Wedding gift to / borothea Stikeman / to her son Richard & / Shirley McCall / October 1952’ (verso, bottom)
Estate of James Wilson Morrice.
William Scott & Sons, executors of the Estate of J.W. Morrice, Montreal,
Wedding gift from the above to son and daughter-in-law, Westmount, Quebec, October, 1952;
Estate of the above.
This street scene was sketched in Concarneau, in southern Brittany. In spite of the very small format, we recognize the weekday costume, perhaps that of a sardinière (sardine worker), with her small pointed cap; her lace collar is rendered by a single, transparent stroke of white. We can even guess her tiny ear; her face is away from us: is she lost in her thoughts? Treasuring the happy times she just had at the fair?
Because the colorful facade behind her resembles more a fair barrack (closed for the day...) than real architecture (fig.1). The flag on the cart only adds to this festive impression.
Morrice spent many months in Concarneau during the 1909-1910 season. He arrived on November 14, when the annual Foire Saint-Martin was in full swing on the quay, and a very hasty drawing of a barrack in his sketchbook betrays his excitement (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts #15, page 3). It could well be the source for the present sketch, painted later at a café table or in his hotel room.
The main attraction at the annual fair was the Cirque d’hiver, pitched on the quay right besides the basin for the fishing boats. Morrice made a few sketches and canvases of the circus tent, inside and out (fig.2).
This Fête foraine is still held each year in November.
Copyright © Lucie Dorais124of 430