Breton Fishermen and Their Families

Théodule-Augustin Ribot (French, Saint-Nicolas-d'Attez 1823–1891 Colombes)

possibly ca. 1880–85
Oil on canvas
21 3/4 x 18 1/4 in. (55.2 x 46.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    Toward the end of his life, Ribot, who was strongly influenced by seventeenth-century Spanish painters, especially Ribera, brought a vigorous realism and a predilection for contrasting values to the subject of Breton and Norman peasants. Beginning in the 1870s, he painted several group portraits similar to this one.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower left): t Ribot.

  • Provenance

    Ernest Cronier, Paris (until d. 1905; his estate sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, December 4–5, 1905, no. 66, as "Les Pêcheurs bretons"); Mrs. Edward Spencer (Catherine D.) Wentworth, Paris, later Santa Barbara, Calif. (by 1937–d. 1948)

  • Exhibition History

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Van Gogh as Critic and Self-Critic," October 30, 1973–January 6, 1974, no. 32 (as "Breton Fishermen").

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Family Life," March 15–May 19, 2002, no catalogue.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Street," March 5–May 27, 2013, no catalogue.

  • References

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX Century." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, 1966, p. 138, ill., call it "Breton Fishermen" and state that it must have been painted at either Brest or Trouville after 1880; note the influence of Ribera.

    Charles S. Moffett. Van Gogh as Critic and Self-Critic. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1973, unpaginated, no. 32, dates it probably after 1880; describes it as depicting "the coarse reality of the peasants' world without a single passage of refined, academically correct painting".