GEORGE LESLIE HUNTER
THE BEACH, JUAN-LES-PINS
signed and dated l.l.: L. Hunter. 27.
oil on canvas
61 by 76cm., 24 by 30in.
Original canvas. Some specks of surface dirt. The work appears to be in very good overall condition with passages of rich impasto.
Examination under ultraviolet light reveals no evidence of any retouching or restoration.
Held in a white and gold painted frame.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
Sotheby's, Edinburgh, 26 April 2007, lot 101, where purchased by the present owners
Hunter first visited the French Riviera in 1926 where he took rooms and a studio at the Auberge de la Colombe d'Or at St-Paul-de-Vence. Although based in Vence Hunter took regular excursions along the coast painting at Antibes, St Tropez, Toulon and even as far as Marseilles. One of his favourite towns though was Juan-les-Pins where he painted the present view of fishing boats pulled up on the beach. Hunter depicted the beach at Juan-les-Pins in all weathers from bright sunshine such as in The Bay, Juan-les-Pins (Sotheby's, Pictures from the Harrison Collection, 12 June 2018, lot 115) to more ominous grey as in the present work. It is interesting to note that Hunter complained about bad weather in the South of France making it hard to complete oil pictures en plein air. In the present work Hunter has chosen to make the boats and fisherman on the beach, painted in spontaneous flicks of thick paint, the focus of the work. The large white hotel in the background, with its distinctive profile, is almost certainly the Hôtel Le Provençal which in its heyday was the toast of the Côte d’Azur and features in a number of Hunter's paintings between 1926 and 1928.
Hunter was greatly inspired by the South of France and he lamented the fact he had not come sooner to the Côte d’Azur; '...I like this country very much and am sorry I did not come here six years ago in place of going to Fife. I feel six months here are worth six years there. I have been in St Paul a week and have just got into a new little studio attached to this hotel...This is a painter's country!' (letter from Hunter, Honeyman Papers, National Library of Scotland). However, despite the beautiful surroundings and endless inspiration Hunter's health began to decline and following the ingestion of a glass of turpentine that he had mistaken for wine he was admitted in to a hospital in Nice and then returned to Glasgow to convalesce. Sadly Hunter would not return to the South of France and died in 1931. The paintings produced on his trip to France were some of his most daring, modern and complete works.