Anne de Saeger (Belgian, b. 1947)
Anne de Saeger was born in Buenos Aires to a Greek mother and Belgian father. She attended the Ecole des beaux arts Prilidiano Pueyrredon, in Buenos Aires. She lived in Brussels from 1980 and then close to Paris in Saint-Maur where she continues to paint and teach.
This fine composition, painted at the height of the contemporary artist Anne de Saeger’s powers, depicts holiday-makers at the beach in a nostalgic look back at the Edwardian era, when visits to the seaside and sea-bathing had become ever more fashionable. Colourful bathing tents, where the bathers could change in privacy and retain their modesty, line the beach further towards the sea, while in the foreground a sunlit family group appears to be playing pétanque or a rudimentary form of croquet without the hoops. The bright red dress of the girl at the centre right of the composition serves to single her out as a point of focus for the viewer’s gaze.
De Saeger’s flickering, delicate taches of colour here attest to her deft handling of pigment and a technical finesse in her work. De Saeger is well-known for such seaside scenes and this gentle, vibrant composition evokes the Belle Époque of the first decade of the twentieth century, when life for those well-off enough to visit the seaside could be a charmed one. The composition speaks of an age of quiet innocence soon to be changed forever by the Great War.