'Beach Scene', probably 1868-77
London, The National Gallery
The 'Beach Scene' suggests the idea of a holiday or a journey, and a day out at the beach. It was not painted outdoors, but in the artist's studio. This raises the importance of the imagination and how we can think about a place where we would like to be. The idea of going to the beach is a very familiar one, but items like the swimming costume laid out in the foreground are very different from such garments today. There are several little incidents to notice in the painting which suggest stories, like the encounter between the man and the woman.
Click here to view work from the 2005 exhibition, inspired by this painting.
© The National Gallery, London