Description & Technical information

In the spring of 1933, Josef Šíma returned to the seaside resort town of Hendaye, in the French Basque country on the southwestern tip of France. He had first visited Hendaye in 1921, and on this return visit was inspired to produce a series of works entitled Sea, ten of which he exhibited a few weeks later, at the artistic organization Umělecká beseda in Prague in May 1933. Until then, Šíma had painted landscapes and figure subjects in a more or less non-representational manner, but now he began to paint the ocean, albeit still in an abstract vein. Most of Šíma’s marine compositions of this period, such as the present sheet, are made up of two horizontal passages; one blue for the sky and the other green for the sea, from which emerge patterns of foaming waves, which appear as cylindrical rollers. In other works, sky and sea merge to form a continuous blue surface, divided only by the darker line of the horizon. 

This small watercolour may be related in particular to three seascape paintings by Šíma, each painted in Hendaye in 1933, which are today in the National Gallery of Prague.

The scholar and art dealer Hélène Drude, director of the Galerie Le Point Cardinal in Paris, owned a number of works by Josef Šíma, including a sketchbook from 1921.

Date:  1934
Period:  20th century
Origin:  France
Medium: Watercolour and gouache.
Signature: Signed and dated SIMA 1934 at the lower right.

Dimensions: 4.5 x 31 cm (1³/₄ x 12¹/₄ inches)
Provenance: Hélène Drude, Paris.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints