On the beach

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Manet painted this canvas in the summer of 1873, during three weeks spent with his family in the little coastal town of Berck-sur-Mer. He had his wife and his brother pose for him on the beach as is shown by the grains of sand mixed with the paint.

The variations in the colour of the sea from dark ultramarine blue to emerald green are rendered by a gradation of strips of horizontal colour building up to a powerful crescendo. The result is a lack of depth and a flattened effect. That is why this work is considered to be one of Manet's paintings in which the Japanese influence was most strongly felt.

1873, Musée d'Orsay

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