Victor-Gabriel Gilbert: The Arrival of the Fishing Boats
During his lifetime, Victor Gilbert established himself as the premier painter of the contemporary Parisian marketplace. He achieved considerable success at the 1880 Salon when he was awarded a second-class medal for his painting A Corner of the Fish Market. Gilbert’s interest in the activities of the Paris fish markets in Les Halles likely prompted him to investigate the market’s precursor, the harbor. The fish harbor and market became Gilbert’s most prized settings and The Arrival of the Fishing Boats is a detailed example of his ability to capture the intricacies of the fishing trade.
After the boats have come to shore, fishermen unload the catch but it is hard-working women who distribute and sort the various types of fish, selecting the best for their market baskets. Always striking in Gilbert’s fishing scenes, whether at the market or along the shore, is his exactitude in capturing the sheen and opacity of the bodies and scales of sea life. [Gandalf’s Gallery]