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Raoul du Gardier
Calme blanc
c. 1900 - 1909
oil on canvas
Canvas: 55 3/4 × 78 inches (141.6 × 198.1 cm)Framed: 57 1/4 × 79 1/4 × 1 7/8 inches (145.4 × 201.3 × 4.8 cm)
Credit Line
Museum purchase.
Accession Number
Born in Germany to French parents, Raoul du Gardier pursued his artistic studies in Paris. His early, more academic work often portrayed fantastic mythological and biblical scenes, but in the early twentieth century he turned his attention to contemporary life and produced lively images of socialites at play.

Calme blanc demonstrates how du Gardier and many other academic artists adopted the contemporary subject matter, broken brushstrokes, and bright palette of the impressionists. Stranded in a calm sea, a party of elegantly dressed figures awaits the return of the wind. The large canvas is daringly composed; the perspective is from the deck of the boat and the view of the vessel itself is severely cropped. Shades of white dominate du Gardier’s palette, lending the work a crisp, airy feel. This “blonde” palette and the loose brush strokes owe their origins to impressionist practice. Yet du Gardier’s carefully rendered, stylishly dressed figures ensure this painting’s acceptability to the conservative Salon and middle-class patrons.