Shrewd perusers of our sales may notice a familiar eave lurking in the catalogue for our upcoming auction of Vintage Posters: the iconic orange roof of the beach house at Isle Adam, a popular resort outside of Paris. The same structure seen in Leon Blot’s poster L’Isle Adam / Chemin de Fer du Nord is visible in the background of William Glackens’s circa 1925-26 canvas The Beach, Isle Adam, which sold at our annual American Art auction on June 15.
The painting, which topped our spring sales at $581,000, depicts bathers at Isle Adam, where Glackens and his family lived during the summers of 1926-28. It is the artist’s most significant work from the mid-1920s that portrays his celebrated beachgoers and the first instance since 1906 that Glackens painted a beach scene of Europe. The rich, brilliantly-lit colors, short brushstrokes, liveliness and motion that beautifully define the canvas showcase his distinctly American vein of Impressionism.
The famous beach sits on the River Oise, about 16 miles northwest of Paris. According to the regional tourist office, it is “the largest and oldest river beach in France.” It was incorporated in 1910. It was instantly a popular destination for weekenders from Paris and around the world. Before this, the region was a favorite muse of Charles-François Daubigny and Vincent van Gogh.