- c. 1926
- Oil on canvas
- Purchased through May Schlesinger bequest, 1938
- 1848 x 1400mm
The unconventional, itinerant life of circus performers – and the sense of escape from routine they represented – is grandly captured in this colourful fairground scene, painted in 1920s coastal Brittany. Lucien Simon discovered the setting, with its distinctive light and picturesque inhabitants, after his marriage in 1891 to Parisian portrait painter Jeanne Dauchez, whose parents bought a summer retreat at the village of Bénodet. Lucien and Jeanne visited often and in 1901 bought an abandoned sémaphore (navy signal house) in nearby Sainte-Marine, which was a much-used second home and painting studio for many years. Simon became famous for his sympathetic representations of the Breton people, painting village dances, church processions, labourers and harvest scenes.
(Leaving for Work, 2 October 2021 - 1 May 2022)