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 Cancale Lighthouse &
Cale de la Fenêtre



Entitled: Le départ des bâteaux or the departure of the bâteaux [fishermen?] from the village's harbor called la Houle. This photo is taken at high tide and you can see the Lighthouse and the ramp that leads down into the harbor for people to get onto the sand during low tide --  Cale de la Fenêtre.

Sargent would paint this ramp as he stood along the sea wall facing north (left in the picture) and showing the ramp in the background and la Houle at low tide.

Low Tide at Cancale Harbor

(Editor's note -- previously I had inquired about the inscription on the postcard)

Udo Dünnebacke
(udo_  due nne  backe @

Mon, 19 Jul 2004

Dear Ms. Wallace!

I am an enthusiast of Cancale and the Webmaster of  

You are interested in the label on the postcard, which shows the old mole at the lighthouse of La Houle, the harbour of Cancale. I found this postcard in the wonderful book “Regards sur Cancale” (Looks at Cancale).  The book was published by the city of Cancale. The mayor of Cancale has permitted me to publish the photos from the book on my homepage. I am pleased that you also have taken this picture to explain the paintings of John Singer Sargent. 

The text on the postcard reads: 

"Mardi matin. Je pars pour Royan par un temps affreux, froid et pluvieux. Pas gai autour, alentour et en dedans. Ecrivez moi poste restante à Royan. Bons baisers. Papa“ 

The text can be translated as follows: 

Tuesday morning. I leave for Royan by hideous, cold and rainy weather. Everything around me and in me is gloomy (dark, unfriendly). Write to me general delivery to Royan. Kind greetings. Daddy.” 

I hope that the translation from the French is right. Because I myself am German and speak French better then English I have asked a friend from France to help me. My friend, Mr. Hervé Tollitte, is the webmaster of the website about the French musician Sylvian Kerivel whose ancestors are from Cancale:

(Editor's note -- included at Mr. Hervé Tollitte's website are some more wonderful pictures of Cancale)

Yours sincerely,  

Udo Dünnebacke

From: Natasha
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004

Guter Abend der Herr Udo Dünnebacke 

I am so happy you wrote. I have learned so much about Cancale from your wonderful website. I loved your own write-up on Sargent’s painting which I found here: cancale-literatur.htm

This just knocked me over with excitement as you have put together these quotes on Cancale.  . . .

(Editor's Note - Natasha's Letter continues here)


Oyster Gatherers of Cancale


Special thanks to Udo Dünnebacke, from Germany, a friend of the JSS Gallery, for his help with images and information.

By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2004 all rights reserved
Created 2/10/2004
Updated 09/2/2004