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Adolphe-Félix Cals

Painter

If Adolphe-Félix Cals is one of those forgotten in the history of art, this is perhaps due to the heterogeneity of his work. His first paintings, in dark tones, conform by their treatment to the standards of academic painting of the nineteenth century. Cals shows the life of the poor, long before the naturalists Millet or Courbet. His subjects testify to an undeniable modernity. Gradually, during his travels in Normandy, his palette cleared up and gave a predominant place to the atmosphere. Cals painted Falaises, the surroundings of Dieppe, in 1862 during a stay at the Saint-Siméon farm. The material is worked there in the impressionist way, evidenced by its round touches which give the cliff a creamy texture. Without excess or fantasy, some light effects are brought to the fore by juxtaposed touches, pink on the sand, blue on the chalk. The painter exalts the soft and peaceful harmony which emanates from the place.