The Deauville beach umbrellas, probably the most photographed in the world, are not on sale anywhere. every year, they emerge from the town’s workshops, where they are made, repaired and cared for, so you can hire them from April to September.

© Béatrice Augier
© Ville de Deauville

Deauville has been settling beach umbrellas on the beach since 1875. These umbrellas have been modified over the years. In the 1930s stripes were left apart to be replaced from the post-war period to the 1960s by new forms, with unique diameter, fringes, wooden frames, colours and characteristic knots used to fold umbrellas when they are stuck in the sand. Coloured and photogenic, represented isolated or in group, capturing their profile or in-depth details, these umbrellas have fascinated in the last century all artists having interpreted or photographed the beach of Deauville: Fernand Léger, Kees van Dongen, André Hambourg, James Rassiat, Emeric Feher, John Batho, Massimo Vitali… Through their wide array of variations, colours and profiles, beach umbrellas were turned into a symbol for the town.

Renting beach umbrellas

and beach chairs

In 1977 John Batho captured his first Deauville umbrellas in a period in which black and white techniques were dominating the photographic production exhibited in museums. He was at the time in the middle of a research process, looking for “coloured places”. The beach of Deauville was then a fundamental actor.

 “Capturing these beach umbrellas, their forms and colours means reproducing colour architecture organization in the space. It means building colour rhythms and sharing them in a joyful way, representing the same spontaneity that would be generated by a paint box spilled on the beach”.