(Australia 16 Jun 1858–30 Apr 1930)
66.0 x 81.8cm stretcher; 83.3 x 98.3 x 6.5cm frame
In 1886 John Peter Russell and his family went to Belle Île, an island off the coast of Brittany, renowned for its jagged cliffs and rough seas. Like his contemporary Claude Monet, Russell was exhilarated by the fierce Atlantic squalls. He painted a number of works depicting the wild winter weather and stormy seas, such as 'Rough sea, Morestil'.
The painting portrays the rocky coastline in deep shades of blue along the right side of the canvas. Turbulent, foaming waves break onto the rocks
and create a strong sense of movement from the left across the canvas. Vigorous, gestural brushstrokes animate the surface of the painting and evoke the surging tide.
Ann Galbally (Australia) (Author), A remarkable friendship : Vincent van Gogh and John Peter Russell, Melbourne, 2008, 240, 241, 216 (colour illus.). Plate 32, titled 'Rough Sea, Morestil (Mer Agitée, Morestil)
Ursula Prunster (Australia) (Curator), Belle-Île: Monet, Russell & Matisse in Brittany, Domain, 2001, 96 (colour illus.). cat.no. 25
Editor Unknown (Editor), Christie's - Australian and European Paintings, Drawings, Ceramics, Sculpture and Prints, South Yarra, 20 Nov 1995, 108. lot no. 155, 'Rough Sea, Morestil, Belle-Ile', oil on canvas, 60 x 73cm, belongs to a series of otherwise undated oils of stormy seas at Belle-Ile. The treatment of the rocky outcrop on the horizon and the surging waves is very similar to that shown in the Gallery's, 'Rough sea, Morestil'.
Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly Apr 1969, Apr 1969, 460 (illus.).
Art and Australia Dec 1968, Dec 1968, 174 (colour illus.). Joseph Brown Gallery advertisement for John Peter Russell exhibition.
Age 27 Aug 1968, 27 Aug 1968, page unknown. Review by Patrick McCaughey of Joseph Brown Gallery exhibition.
Belle-Île: Monet, Russell & Matisse in Brittany, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 24 Nov 2001–03 Feb 2002.
Belle-Île: Monet, Russell & Matisse in Brittany, Queensland Art Gallery, 14 Feb 2002–21 Apr 2002.