This late 19th-century oil painting by Belgian artist Alexandre Marcette (1853-1929) depicts a coastal view in Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Through a smoky haze of dense clouds, the moon shimmers. Tugboats, moored at windswept Dordrecht, bob amid near darkness. It’s a mystery under storm clouds. An amalgam of Turner’s misty dreams and Whistler’s tonal minimalism.
Frustrated by Academic diktat, Marcette was imbued with a passion for true art. Continually seeking to break away from the rigour of traditional minds - longing to achieve commercial success with expressive works, free of convention. Here, his brushwork is mesmerising, a far stretch from his usual oeuvre. It’s raging with feeling, a dark mood wrapped in vivid apocalyptic conditions.
It’s a painting for him, not for the market. As such, one of his finest works.
Signed and held within a 19th-century gilt frame.
Medium: Oil on paper laid on board
Overall size: 20” x 13” / 51cm x 33cm
Year of creation: 1899
Condition: Artwork presents well. Craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £2,919
Alexandre Marcette trained under Jan Portaels (1818-1895) and Louis Artan at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. His works are held in numerous public collections including at the National Gallery of Canada, Musée d'Orsay, Musées de Reims, Louvre, Ghent Museum, Museum of Brussels, National Museum of Luxembourg, and Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp.
Learn more about Alexandre Marcette in our directory.