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The Beach at Nice

If you have seen Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘To Catch a Thief’ – “graced” by an unforgettable performance by the lovely Grace Kelly – then you have seen The Beach at Nice. The backdrop of stately old hotels, the sweep of pebbled beach, the festive beach cabanas, the dancing sailboats, and above all the unmistakable velvet waters of the Cote d’Azur, combine to make this a perfect subject for my Robert Girrard Impressionist style.

When I set up my easel to attempt to capture the grandeur and excitement of The Beach at Nice, my challenge was to convey the animation of the water – which seems like liquid crystal, alive with light and motion – and the bathers on the shore.

I used bold strokes to convey the vibrant colors of the flags and beach cabanas. The pristine white sailboats dance on the waves, making the perfect accent to suggest the vibrant movement of the water. The wispy clouds – resembling sail boats in the sky – heighten the sense of a blustery afternoon. The Beach at Nice is crowded with bathers; the almost pointillist application of colors works to dramatize the action. Anyone who enjoys sea breeze, sand, and water will surely relish their time at The Beach at Nice.

  • The Beach at Nice depicts the tranquil Cote d’Azur, where the exquisite rays of sun reflect off the crystal waters of the Mediterranean. The pebbled beaches are flanked by gracious hotels in this dynamic, coastal scene on the French Riviera.
  • Thomas Kinkade used bold strokes of color and palette to convey the vibrant colors of the scene. One can easily see the influence of great French Impressionists such as Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro in the work of this exploratory time in Thom’s career as the Painter of Light.
  • For a period of six years, Thom painted under the brush name of Robert Girrard from 1984 to 1989: “I wanted to reinvent academic styles – implementing my own use of light. Impressionism was an avenue that beckoned that pursuit.”
Title The Beach at Nice
PAINTED 1986
Published September 2005
Subject Location Beach at Nice on the French Rivieria, France
Collection Robert Girrard Collection
Classification Robert Girrard

Image Sizes

12" x 18"
18" x 27"
24" x 36"

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