The highly skilled technicality of the composition, its charm and attention to detail are probably elements Kaemmerer learned at the studio of his master Jean-Léon Gérôme.
Possibly, Goupil & cie, Paris, 19 May 1884 (no. 17054 as Femme lisant)
Possibly Crist-Delmonico, New York, 28 May 1884 for 3,000 francs
Bridget Restivo, New York, 1990-2011
By descent, MaryAnn Restivo, New York, 2011- 2015
Thence by descent
Maastricht, TEFAF, 1990
Lady by the sea is an excellent example of the finely painted small-scale beach compositions showcasing fashionable women that earned Frederik Kaemmerer fame and success. It is a Belle Époque gem, a close-up version of the Beach at Scheveningen, Kaemmerer’s most ambitious work painted in 1874 and formerly in the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
The highly skilled technicality of the composition, its charm and attention to detail are probably elements Kaemmerer learned at the studio of his master Jean-Léon Gérôme. An upper-class vacationer strolling on the boardwalk occupies the center of the composition. Set against an overcast and empty beach, she is fully absorbed in her letter. Her un-posed casualness, as if captured in a snapshot photograph, characterizes Kaemmerer’s unique style. She is also very modern. In addition to being educated, as symbolized by the letter in her gloved hands, she is wearing the latest fashion. Her style of dress, which consists of a pouf at the back, accentuated by a draped over-skirt, was very popular at the end of the 19th century.
In Lady by the sea, Kaemmerer captured the diffused light of the sun wafting through the clouds and reflecting on the golden tones of the sand and the pale blue of the sea. This fresh palette and delicate touch are reminiscent of the Spanish School and more particularly that of Mariano Fortuny, also an expatriate established in Paris. The finesse of Kaemmerer’s brushstrokes is emphasized by the wooden chairs, painted in part so thinly that one can see a glimpse of the pencil underdrawing.