Henry St. Clair was born in Arras, Pas de Calais, Normandy region of France in 1899 and later lived in Sotteville, near the picturesque port of Honfleur. He was born to a well-to-do family and worked as an art restorer for the National Museum of France, including the Louvre Museum.
St. Clair was a postimpressionist who is now beginning to be recognized as one of the fine artists of French coastal life in Normandy. His picturesque paintings of the beaches of Normandy include colorful scenes of families and friends in period costume in charming seaside places such as Deuville, Honfleur, and Trouville.
Henry St. Clair’s paintings draw the viewer into pleasant world that provides one with the same perspective as the subjects in the paintings, typically looking out over the warm sand and bright sea.
St. Clair’s preferred medium was oil on painter’s board, which contributes to the uniqueness of his style. The bulk of his oeuvre was completed between 1920-1970 with a four year disruption between 1941-45 because of the German occupation of France.
His art was inspired by the colors and gaiety of Raoul Dufy (1877-1953), and he was a student of the art of Eugene Boudin (1824-1898). St. Clair worked in a studio with artists in Honfleur, including Raoul Dufy (1877-1953, Andre Hamburg (1909-1999), Fernand Herbo (1905-1995), and Jacques Bouyssou (1925-1997).