Guernsey, Day 5, the beach at Moulin Huet

On a cloudy morning we had an expedition to Moulin Huet beach. There is a small car park at the top of the cliff and you descend down by a large number of steps, hoping that you can spring up them again on your return.

Renoir spent 2 months in Guernsey, in the late summer of 1883 and produced four paintings of the beach. I looked at the one kept in the National Gallery in London, and I must admit was not that impressed. So I Googled for some criticism, which I did not find. Instead I came across a paper produced by John House for the Guernsey Museum and Art Gallery. In this he quotes from a Guernsey guide book, and this is what must have set the Artist's pulse racing.

"Barbet’s Guide for the Island of Guernsey of 1840 added a further dimension to Moulin Huet’s appeal: ‘The overhanging precipices, largely indented with fissures, the impetuous waves rolling upon the pebbly beach below and breaking with violence upon the rocks detached from the cliff, together with the sudden disappearance of every object indicating the presence of man, will impart to the mind a feeling of solitude and abstraction from worldly scenes, and lead it almost instinctively to commune with itself, with nature and with God.’ But, at the same time, the scene which stirred such feelings was readily accessible, and, as Barbet’s Guide reassured the timid visitor, there was a cottage on the way down to the beach where picnics could be eaten."

Renoir was apparently more interested in the bathers on the beach than the landscape.

So getting down to sand level I struggled with a composition in this jumble of rocks. I tried using a 10 stop filter to calm the water and add a little simplicity, to the scene and I tried without the filter.
Here are the results.


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