This delightful depiction of an afternoon's outing by the sea is highly reminiscent of the work of the Ash Can School, particularly that of Reginald Marsh. Ranft's lively scene of socializing among members of the middle class at local cafes and popular beaches are driven by the rhythmic energy of his gestural brushstrokes and intense coloration. The outlines of his figures are strongly delineated, and the directness of expression and reduction of details contributes to the breezy spontaneity of this charming scene.
After studying in academic painting in Geneva, Ranft headed to Paris where he succeeded in joining a select group of artists taught by the highly esteemed Gustave Courbet. He produced numerous engravings inspired by the work of Turner, while gradually developing his own, idiosyncratic style. He became a successful illustrator and graphic designer, and worked commercially as he continued to explore new mediums of expression.
He was awarded a membership at the Salon de la Societe Nationale desBeaux Arts in Paris, and exhibited his work at the Salon des Independants, and then in 1910, at the prestigious Chaine et Simonson gallery in Paris, to much acclaim.
Swiss Artist (1862-1931)
'At the Beach'
Oil on paper glued to board
13.5 x 17.5 in.
Ides et Calendes: Dictionnaire des Illustrateurs 1800-1914, Neuchatel, 1989.