© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2021. Photo credit: Manchester Art Gallery
Could this be Douarnenez, a much painted little town in Finistere at the mouth of Pouldavid 15 miles north west of Quimper? Tal-Coat was Breton.
This discussion is now closed. The location was identified as the artist’s home village of Doëlan-sur-Mer (Clohars-Carnoët) in Brittany. The title has been changed to ‘Doëlan’ with the additional title of ‘French Village’ retained. The artwork description field has been enhanced to reflect the artist’s relationship to the village.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.
The Collection has commented: ‘We have checked our donor file and our artist file, and there's no hint that anyone has previously tried to identify the landscape depicted here. Douarnenez is not mentioned - no place is.’
The file could be updated with the record of the painting in Tal-Coat's catalogue raisonné (XD-1933-014).
Location is the fishing harbour of Doëlan, in Taol-Coat's hometown (Clohars-Carnoët). The body of water in the middle ground is "l'anse de Doëlan" (a sea loch) (so roughly a view towards south/south-east).
Many thanks for that very quick answer to the question. The link provided seems slow to load but if the collection can access it and confirm the title they would wish to use with Art UK, this could now close. The local tourism web page for Doelan-sur-Mer (among others) provides ample confirmation of the topography
Hannah Williamson, Curator, Fine Art, has confirmed, email, 07/07/21 'In the end I changed the title of the work to 'Doëlan', as that's what the artist's grandson has catalogued it under. Our database has the facility for alternative titles, and this is the field where I moved 'French Village', so that for us it's searchable under both. I hope Art UK's is the same, because if the work has built up associations under the title it was donated with, we don't want to lose them.'
Thanks Hannah. Since I was first Group Leader to respond here, David has asked me to recommend closure unless any others have further comment. It's interesting to hear that the Tal-Coat catalogue is by his grandson, so that and modern web images of Doëlan confirm the matter of location. If just that is what the collection wants, following the catalogue listing then so be it; but since there is no Art UK link to an online Manchester web catalogue I suggest the Art UK descriptive text is changed to begin 'Rural French coastal landscape, painted in thick impasto, showing Tal-Coat's home village of Doëlan-sur-Mer (Clohars-Carnoët), Brittany....'.
Particular thanks to Guillaume Evrard, as a new contributor who David says has also started making useful suggestions on other French landscapes. We will no doubt see some of those in due course. C'est tout!
A link to Manchester's collection online entry for this work has now been added to the ArtUK record.
Thanks: that shows that the current descriptive text on Art UK is taken from the collection entry, so the recommendation to be more geographically specific in that when the title of 'French village' is updated to just 'Doëlan' applies to both.