The Chapel of St Jean, Tréboul

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The Chapel of St Jean, Tréboul

Watercolour & gouache
24 x 34.5 cm


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In the early summer of 1953 Anne Redpath travelled to Brittany. Whilst there she spent time in Tréboul, completing at least 3 paintings of a small fisherman’s church The Chapel of St Jean. In one painting of the chapel she depicts a sculpture of the Angel Gabrielle. In a painting of the same title as the present work ‘The Chapel of St Jean, Tréboul’, which is now part of the Scottish Academy’s permanent collection, and was exhibited in the 1956 Redpath retrospective at the Royal West of England Academy, Redpath depicts the church’s central altar with  many of the same features as in the present work. It was common for Redpath to paint churches during her travels. Though she herself was not a church-goer she was fascinated by the ornate interiors of Catholic Chapels. The Chapels also offered some respite from the heat of a Brittany Summer. 

She painted en plein air, using a combination of gouache and watercolour, and sometimes applying dashes of oil paint once back in her Edinburgh studio. The subtle washes of blue, grey, and sparing use of red of in The Chapel of St Jean, Tréboul are typical of the restrained colour palette Redpath used during her travels through Brittany, where she opted for more muted gouache tones in place of the vibrant colours used in her Edinburgh Studio.


Anne Redpath OBE, RSA, ARA, LLD, ROI, RBA (1895 – 1965) was a Scottish artist whose vivid domestic still lifes are among her best-known works.

Anne Redpath was born in Galashiels and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. In 1920 she married and moved to France, devoting much of the next fourteen years to her family and doing little painting.

In the mid-1930s she returned to Scotland, settling in Hawick in the Borders. Redpath admired the French Post-Impressionist artists, such as Van Gogh and Gauguin, and also Matisse. From the 1950s, she became well known in the Scottish art world, specialising in landscapes, church interiors and still lifes painted in rich colours.

Her paintings frequently teeter on the brink of abstraction, featuring lively and expansive marks that animate her surfaces. Redpath’s oeuvre includes themes of Catholicism, Impressionism, and personal experience, and her work can be found in institutions such as the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh and the University of Edinburgh.


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