Some of his Gifford Beal’s best-known pictures are of holiday crowds, circus performers and hunting scenes. Yet, Beal enjoyed painting the Caribbean Islands and the landscape along the Hudson River and in Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts, where he spent many summers. He depicted many scenes of the fishermen who worked there. Our painting is an excellent example of one of his early waterscapes, executed in a lively palette with gestural yet harmonious brushwork.
The French Impressionists' use of color and light to create form and atmosphere provided Beal's first influence. As his personal style developed, other elements of painting were emphasized: compositions were built on line and form thereby adding more solidity to the work. For example, he depended on balanced, rhythmic elements to depict motion in riding or fishing scenes. Beal believed in the power of spontaneity and would sometimes rework a "dead" area of color with line in order to revitalize it.
The Greenwich Gallery, Greenwich, CT
Private Collection, New York, NY