Children Playing on the Beach Mary Cassatt Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Prominence and appraisals have surrounded most artworks done by Mary Cassatt. Children Playing on the Beach is no exception. It's a commendable piece she skillfully designed in 1884, with the aid of oil and canvas texture.

In all the exhibitions the piece made entrance, the 1884 arena accorded her more prominence, considering it was one of the last shows dedicated to giving artists more value for their impressionist abilities. Different color shades bring out unique aspects of the painting. The blue shade has been done both subtly and deeply. The ocean is more expansive, constituting better part of the light blue shade.

Two small girls are positioned alongside each other. Both are engrossed in the act of playing, each shoving sand into the blue pails they're holding. Children Playing on the Beach is an illustrative piece displaying coinciding emotions: affection,but absurdly, without a tincture of sentiment.

There is more focus on the foreground as compared to the background. The ocean is an endless stretch, just a few boats have been highlighted in white shades. The girls playing on the beach are the center of focus. The blue dresses and shoes are deeply colored. White and yellow accents show the presence of bright sunlight, which bounces off their hats and dresses. Children Playing on the Beach is an evocative piece.

It arouses nostalgic feelings, with acute picturesque elements of typical childhood times of that century. Children Playing on the Beach focuses on the two girls engrossed in playing independently, but in awareness of the other's presence. Neither is worried. Both seem relaxed, comfortable, and congenial in each other's company.

Children Playing on the Beach may have been Cassatt's way of paying homage, in the remembrance of Lydia, her sister who had passed away two years before she came up with the painting. Family had the greatest influence on Cassatt’s career and even independence as an artist. Besides Children Playing on the Beach, other exclusive pieces that debuted exceptionally well included Child in a Straw Hat, Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, Young Mother Sewing, and her Self Portrait. When her mother got sick, she accompanied her to an area close to the Spanish coastline, in an endeavor to find the most conducive surrounding for her quick recovery. It was after she returned from the visit that she created Children Playing on the Beach, indicating that she may have gained inspiration from the visit.