Toilers of the Sea

by Edmond Adolphe Rudaux

Toilers of the Sea

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The boys are very busy building the hill. The little one standing on top of the hill seems to be saying, "Look how tall we have made it!"

Little sister is doing her part by bringing rocks to help build it higher. One of the older boys might be her big brother. She feels honored that they are letting her help.

The artist has skillfully placed nearly thirty figures in the picture, and you are able to see each person distinctly. Study the hands of the boys in the foreground.

What will happen when the tide comes in? Will all their work be washed away with only a pile of rocks remaining?

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Where is the sea in this picture? As you view this scene, is it behind you or in front of you?

Note: I received an email from Vincent Closon in Belgium, the great-grandson of one of the children in the painting. These are his words:

This scene is taking place in Veules-les-Roses near Dieppe (Normandy-France) in 1878. The children made a group of friends on holiday. The little girl on top of the hill (my great-grandmother) is Marie-Louise MARCHAND (1874-1958) who married Maurice CLOSON. Her brother Camille MARCHAND (1870-1891) is the big boy who is supervising the jobs with his legs wide open. He's looking at a little girl, daughter of the painter Timoleon LOBRICHON (1831-1914). The little boy with the striped jacket on the left of the picture is Lucien RUDAUX, son of the painter, who will become later an astronomer. The boy with the big hat and the other boy on the extreme right are sons of the painter Henri TEVENIN (Rene is a writer and Leon a novelist).

There is another painting called "Et la mer montait toujours". Both pictures were in the "Salon des Artistes français" in Paris in 1879.

When she was old, Marie-Louise MARCHAND said they had been bought by an American. We would like to know where they are today.

If you have any information about the paintings you can contact him at the following address:

Vincent Closon
Avenue de Cologne, 18
B 4020 Liège BELGIUM

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