Figures on the Beach Pierre-Auguste Renoir 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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This is a beautiful oil painting on canvas by the prominent French Impressionist artist Auguste Renoir. The dimensions of this 1890 painting titled Figures on the Beach are 20 3/4 x 25 1/4 inches, and at present, it is on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

This bright and colourful painting is a typical slice of life painting by the famous painter. He captures those moments of life's small pleasures beautifully. This sunny painting portrays the fun and frolic of life on a beach. It seems to be a small outing to enjoy the sun, sand, and breeze. The painting shows two women on the beach completely involved in an absorbing conversation. They seem to be enjoying their small picnic. One of them is seated on the sand while the other is standing nearby. Their attire is representative of the styles of those times. The woman, seated on the sand, is dressed in an all-white summer dress. She has tied a satin belt across the waist and is wearing an elaborate hat. The other woman is wearing a white and brown coloured long dress along with a belt and hat. She has one hand on the hips and is holding a woven basket in the other hand. Her profile is turned to the left to look at the woman seated on the beach. There is a small fluffy white dog which seems to be their pet seated right next to the women.

Further along the shore line, a little boy can be seen playing with the waves. By his actions, he seems to be throwing something into the sea. He is dressed in dark blue and is seen wearing a hat. He is facing the sea in the painting, and his face is not visible to the viewer. A few boats are sailing in the sea. The sea appears to be calm, and the weather appears to be pleasant and sunny. The golden sands and the different shades of the deep blue sea are exhilarating. It is a perfect setting for spending some carefree and relaxed moments away from work and home.

The impressionist style is clearly visible with the use of vibrant hues, vivid brushstrokes, and in the play of light and shadows. This is a typical depiction of people engrossed in life’s regular activities, and revelling in the small pleasures of life. This is one of the dominant themes in the artist’s body of work. He loves to make paintings depicting beauty in ordinary and every day settings and events. His paintings exude a youthful vivacity and charm. He skilfully captures the fleeting beauty of those moments spent with loved ones, and all these works of art radiate fresh energy and positivity. Through these portrayals, he wants to convey to the world, that the time spent with friends and loved ones are the ones that are priceless and worth treasuring the most.