As I wrote regarding H. Boylston Dummer, I believe the working fishermen in a community such as Cape Ann are overlooked as the central theme of most paintings dealing with the region. For this reason I am attracted to honest portrayals of the men that earn their livelihood on the sea. I have read somewhere that the most dangerous profession with the highest rate of death and injury as a percent of those in the field, is not law enforcement, mining, firemen, or the military—it is deep-sea fishermen. I was struck by the stoic, determined portrayal of these fishermen departing their warming shack in winter, probably headed toward their boat. The mother with small child in her arms adds further drama to the composition. Renouard has surprisingly little biographical information on him. His father apparently invented some sort of embalming fluid and thus made a considerable income, which seems to have relieved his son of some of the pressures of selling his artwork. Nevertheless, I’ve seen a number of his lushly painted, vibrant images, frequently beautiful snowscapes and Cape Ann scenes. This particular example, obtained in a 2003 Philips auction, is more earthy and gritty than most and could be characterized as “the Ash Can School visits the working coastline.” I really like it.