Large painting of The Fisherman's Cemetery in Sète - Joseph Franceli (1938-2020) 32" x 39½"

SKU: 17614


This large-format painting dates from the late twentieth-century and is signed in the bottom right Joseph Franceli (1938-2020). Three people run, hunched over above the Fisherman's Cemetry in Sète, also known as the Saint Charles Cemetery or Le Cimetière marin. Green cypress trees divide the foreground from the blue sea with white sailing boats.

About the Cemetery:

From Tourism Sète The Saint Charles Cemetery or Le Cimetière marin (fisherman's cemetry) was created in the late seventeenth century as a burial place for the first workers who died during the construction of the Saint-Louis breakwater (this is visible in the painting with the lighthouse at the end). The town's population was incredibly diverse - evident by the plots found in the cemetery - one of which was reserved for the Protestant community which played an essential part in the growth of the port in the 18th and 19th centuries. It is also known as the “cemetery of the rich”, in contrast with the “cemetery of the poor” (the resting place of Georges Brassens), located facing the Thau Lagoon.

Several of the graves speak of the town’s sea-going traditions, for example, the grave of the pilots who were lost on a mission to assist a vessel in distress, and the grave of the young sea-cadet, Eugène Herber, killed in Beijing in 1900. Others bear witness to the fame of outstanding personalities from Sète, such as the minister Mario Roustan and the actor and theatre director Jean Vilar. On 7 August 1945, the Saint Charles Cemetery was renamed Cimetière Marin (The sea cemetery), an allusion to Paul Valéry’s famous poem, The Graveyard by the Sea. About the artist, Joseph Franceli (1938-2020)

About the artist:

Born into a fishing family in Sète, 1938, this autodidactic painter embarked on his artistic journey from an early age, showcasing a remarkable talent that led to his first exhibition at just 12.

His studies briefly took him to the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Montpellier under Professor Mr. Bessil, only to return to Sète to refine his skills in François Desnoyer's studio. A seafarer at heart, he ventured globally before settling back in his birthplace. His art found a platform in numerous French galleries, rubbing shoulders with artists like Fusaro, Baboulene, Routneff, Combas, Di Rosa, Desnoyer. Franceli's unique approach, characterized by vivid colors and an unconventional style, stands out as a pivotal contribution to the Sète school. His work, known for its strength, vibrancy, imagination, and wit, resonates with the discerning and underscores his distinct artistic identity. He died in 2020 in Balaruc-les-Bains.

Light wear.
Approx. overall 32" high x 39½" wide x 1¼" deep
Approx. overall 81cm high x 100cm wide x 3cm deep

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