Henry Moret and En Plein Air Painting
Kyffin Williams



‘Capel Soar’ by Kyffin Williams

Oil on canvas
20 x 44 inches
Signed with initials (lower right)

I am sure that many of you might have the good fortune to be traveling amongst such scenes as the one above this summer in North Wales.

Capel Soar is one of the most impressive works we have dealt with by Kyffin Williams. Situated in the county of Gwynedd, Capel Soar is believed to be the most remote chapel in Wales. This historic kingdom is one of Wales’ largest and richest regions covering most of the Snowdonia National Park.

Born in 1918, in Llangefni on the Isle of Anglesey Kyffin Williams was brought up in rural Wales surrounded by farmland, with his family having long historic and landowning connections on the island. In fact if it hadn’t been for him being discharged from the army in the early 1940s because of epilepsy he might have never become the most defining welsh artist of the 20th century.

This particular oil is a beautifully balanced composition, demonstrating his highly expressive style, which he managed to create using a palette knife rather than a brush – a technique that distinguished him from his contemporaries.

Previously exhibited in the National Museum of Wales in 1987, this powerful painting is available to view in our gallery in Broadway.

I’ll leave you with his words which sum up his feelings towards his homeland.

‘My Welsh inheritance must always remain a strong force in my work, for it is in Wales that I can paint with the greatest freedom. I have worked in Holland, France, and in Italy and Greece, but in none of these countries have I found the mood that touches the seem of melancholy that is in most Welshmen, a melancholy that derives from the dark hills, the heavy clouds and the enveloping sea mists.’

Henry Moret 'Le Printemps a Clohars en Bretagne'


‘Le Printemps a Clohars en Bretagne’

Oil on canvas

Sir Alfred Munnings 'Brightworthy Ford, Withypool, Exmoor'


‘Brightworthy Ford, Withypool’

Oil on canvas

Marcel Dyf 'Canots sur la Siagne'


‘Canots sur la Siagne’

Oil on canvas
17.3 x 21 inches
Signed ‘Dyf’ (lower right)


Masterpiece Online 2021 is live and continues until 27th June.

I wanted to share a highlight from our collection, Henry Moret ‘Chemin au Bord de la Mer’. Dating from 1904, Moret transports us to the Brittany coast, an area of exceptional beauty, an artist’s dream with such varied landscape from drifts of sand dune to dramatic plunging cliffs and the wild Atlantic ocean. Whilst in Brittany and Pont Aven, Moret became great friends with Paul Gaugin and Emile Bernard, enjoying their company and painting the local scenes en plein air with them.

His mastery of the plein air technique allowed him to translate his deep appreciation for the natural world onto canvas with brilliance and energy as we see here. The impressionistic brush strokes which are beautifully illustrated in this painting bring the wild beauty of Brittany to life. Moret started to come to the attention of Monet’s dealer Durand- Ruel, who became Moret’s biggest buyer, it was a privilege to be represented by such a dealer to which many artists aspired.

In 1900 and 1902 Durand-Ruel showed his work in New York, along with that of Maufra and Loiseau and Durand Ruel wrote that Moret had the ability to ‘express the Breton landscape exactly….he occupies a unique place in the evolution of art at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, as he as been able to fuse together two fundamentally opposing sales Syntheticism of Pont Aven and Impressionism.

‘Au Bord de la Mer’ by Henry Moret. Oil on canvas

Masterpiece Online 2021


We are delighted to present our Summer Exhibition Collection 2021.

The flipbook includes a preview of artworks we have carefully selected to exhibit at Masterpiece Online 2021. Please do join us for a glass of champagne to view the exhibition in our Broadway galleries.

Masterpiece Online 2021

Alternatively, if you would like further information on the artwork, please do contact us at [email protected]  and we will be delighted to help. Please click the link below to explore the flipbook further.

Henry Moret 'Le Printemps a Clohars en Bretagne'


I just want to pause a little on en plein air painting, we possibly forget that this was only really made possible by oil paints being sold in tubes from around the 1860s.

It allowed artists to take their paints into the countryside and to paint with ease, giving them a variety of colours. This motivated them to make really spontaneous colours choices and to apply paint more thickly.

Prior to this, artists had to grind pigments by hand and mix binding oil, which was very laborious.

The vibrant works of Henry Moret can be viewed in our gallery in Broadway including:

‘Au Bord de la Mer’
Oil on canvas. 15 x 18.1 inches. Signed and dated (lower right)

‘Le Printemps a Clohars en Bretagne.’
Oil on canvas. 23 x 28 inches. Signed (lower right); painted circa 1901

To enquire about the works of Henry Moret, please do contact us: [email protected]


I am recommending a book which sings with colour, beautifully illustrating Moret’s own personal, powerful style which fused elements of Gauguin’s Syntheticism – flat areas of colour, bold contrasts, the power of colour to evoke emotion – with the more naturalistic approach to space and light of the Impressionists.

Moret was widely collected in his lifetime, his works were sought after and still are by collectors throughout Europe and in the United States and Great Britain.


An indication of the popularity of his work during his lifetime and beyond can be gauged by a selection of museums that hold his work. The work of Henry Moret is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper; Southampton City Art Gallery; the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Indianapolis Museum of Art. The locals said he may have been from  Normandy but he was born with a Breton soul and I don’t think there is any higher accolade than that.

Henry Moret Book

In love with Brittany where Henry Moret spent all of his life, he understood the intimate feeling for beings and for things; he ignored nothing. He knew the small ports surrounded by the Breton hills; he noted the red sails on the green and blue seas, the teeming of the fishermen leaving and returning to the dock. His little figurines were excessively studied for their movements.

The people and animals that he placed in his landscapes, of rich and opulent tones were always there at the place they should be. He examined the horizon with his eye while walking within nature. Coasts, forests, valleys, in every season, he observed them with all of his senses and reproduced them. Utilising the Kvamme process of digital enhancement, the present array of Henry Moret’s paintings highlights his very particular embrace of Impressionist and Synthetic techniques in the reconciliation of two competing artistic orthodoxies to develop a unique artistic vocabulary of his own.


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Wishing you a wonderful weekend, until next time…


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