Manet uses an economy of means to depict low tide on a beach at Berck, a fishing village and seaside resort on the northern coast of France. The loose brushstrokes, simple color scheme, and sparse composition contribute to an evocative, almost haunting view. This work is the result of nearly ten years the artist spent rethinking and revitalizing the tradition of seventeenth-century Dutch marine painting. Manet’s interest in rendering the effects of weather upon a particular place, however, also reveals his response to the outdoor painting technique of his younger fellow artist Claude Monet.
The Beach at Berck, 1873
Oil on canvas
The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1967.1