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Louis-Gabriel-Eugène Isabey, The Fish Market, Dieppe

Key facts
Full title The Fish Market, Dieppe
Artist Louis-Gabriel-Eugène Isabey
Artist dates 1803 - 1886
Date made 1845
Medium and support Oil on wood, probably oak
Dimensions 35.6 × 53 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Presented by J.C.J. Drucker, 1910
Inventory number NG2715
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Fish Market, Dieppe
Louis-Gabriel-Eugène Isabey

Louis-Gabriele-Eugène Isabey was among the first of the nineteenth-century French painters to be inspired by the Normandy coast, which was to become an important location for artists such as Boudin and Monet. Yet despite its title, this small picture may not be set in Dieppe, a fishing port on the Normandy coast; it was more likely inspired by seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish still life painting. The picture shows Isabey’s skilful use of shadows and darker tones, in part to produce a contrast with the more brightly lit areas, such as the fish stall, and to create an effect of distant space, framing the clifftop chateau we can just glimpse in the background.

A similar scene in the National Gallery’s collection, The Fish Market, was painted by Philippe Rousseau around the same time. Rousseau was influenced by Isabey (the two artists may even have collaborated on Rousseau’s painting) and by Chardin.

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