Osborne's painting trip to Brittany in 1883 took in the villages of Quimperlé, Pont Aven and Dinan (see note to previous lot). The area was particulary popular with English and Irish artists and the Cork-born painter, Henry Jones Thaddeus who visited Brittany for a while in 1881 commented on the 'villagers, in their picturesque Breton costumes, providing the distinctive note so highly prized by painters. When in summer they arrive, laden with canvasses, knapsacks, and easels, local laws and mandates are made to conform to their wishes, and the village is given up to their sweet will. Comprising all nationalities and representing every school of painting, the cosmopolitan crowd devotes itself equally to the spoiling of canvas and to a thorough enjoyment of open-air life'.
The present work was painted in Dinan in the early months of 1883. The young Breton girl in her distinctive local costume and clogs appears in a similar market scene from this period (Sotheby's, 16 May 1996, lot 449), and Osborne exhibited a number of Dinan street scenes at the Royal Hibernian Academy on his return to Britain in 1884.
(see J. Sheehy, Walter Osborne, National Gallery of Ireland Exhibition Catalogue, 1983, p.20).
We are very grateful to Dr. Julian Campbell for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.