Acquired directly from the artist by Jesse Nadal, Flushing, New York; from whom acquired by the family of the present owner, circa 1970
New York, Watercolour Club, 1906, no.89.
The present work was painted from an elevated position on the Ville-Close opposite the Passage Lanriec, Concarneau in Brittany. O'Kelly also painted an oil version of the same subject (see Niamh O'Sullivan, Aloysius O'Kelly, exh.cat., Dublin 2005, no. p.61).
O'Kelly had first visited Brittany in 1876 during the summer months whilst studying in Paris and the fresh rural subject matter would have been in direct opposition to the meticulous studio training Gérôme advocated. Like most of his contemporaries, he cannot have failed to be inspired by the naturalism of Jules Bastien-Lepage and his followers. The fluid yet sensitve handling of the present work clearly reflects the French master's edict of painting directly en plein air and the combination of this fresh style together with the manner of the signature suggest that it was most probably painted circa 1902-5, just before being exhibited in New York in 1906. O'Kelly certainly went to Brittany in 1902 following his return from the United States and continued to stay there for prolonged periods over the next 20 years.