The Port of Gaillac 1863, a ‘quay’ painting, shows the port at the zenith of its activity, with over 200 gabarre (barges) registered.
Gaillac was typical of a port up river from Bordeaux in France for the period 1850 to 1865.
1863 was the year before a rail link to Toulouse started its decline
By Gordon Frickers, this painting measures 200 X 100 cm (6′ 9” ″ x 3′ 3″), oils. Its replacement value is £ 25,000.
The original idea came to me while I was thinking of sailing upon the capricious river Tarn.
The painting was specially commissioned for and is on display at the Museum “InVINcible VIGNEron” at Broze near Gaillac.
I chose the date when the river traffic was at its height, with over 200 barges (gaborre) registered at the Captainerie, a year before the first steam train arrived at Gaillac.
Bertrand de Vivies, conservateur en chef des musées de Gaillac, said to me, “many ports have their famous ‘quay’ paintings, Bordeaux, Toulon, Marseilles, Brest. Now at last, Gaillac has its ‘quay’ painting“.
“more than a match for anything in the Musee d’Orsay” said Alain Soreano of Gaillac, author and historian.
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Unusually this picture was painted at the museum in the foyer it was intended to eventually grace, thus picture was for many months a ‘happening’, an added attraction at the museum.
“The Port of Gaillac 1863” was for long centuries at the navigable head of the River Tarn hence giving it’s name to the regional wines and typical of an up river port in South West France for the period 1820 to 1865.
1863 was the year before the first steam train arrived at Gaillac, the river traffic was at its height, with over 200 barges (gaborre) registered at the Captainerie.
Further reading Main Text.
You can discover via the ‘main text’ link on this page how the port was researched including a discoveries that surprised even the experts and the page details how the painting conceived and created.
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23.02.15 Gordon Frickers © updated 25.11.2019