Mother Nature has always been an endless source of inspiration for paintings throughout art history. On top of that, Beach art, in particular, has been a popular subject among artists for hundreds of years.
Whether the beach is the prime focus of the entire painting or simply a beautiful setting in the background, some beach paintings have earned an iconic place in history.
Today’s article will talk about some of the finest and most famous beach paintings of all time. Summer is the time to visit the beach and enjoy the beach sand and the sea tides. However, if you cannot do so in person, our list of paintings will help you calm down your thirst to enjoy the beach this season. So let’s dive in.
Pablo Picasso’s Two Women Running on the Beach
First on the list is the famous “Two Women Running on the Beach” by the great Spanish painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso. The painting presents two young women holding each other’s hands and running across a beach, filled with absolute joy and freedom.
Also known as “The Race,” Pablo Picasso returned to his earlier neoclassical art style with this particular painting. The prime reason behind Picasso’s shift to the neoclassical art style was the artist’s wish to explore the order, rationalized structure of the art style and its humanity.
In the painting, the master of colors has very carefully contrasted the white-colored dress of the figures with a vivid blue-colored sky. Besides the color palettes, the painting is also special because of the message it delivers – it conveys the achievement of freedom of women post the First World War. The painting is currently on display at The Musée Picasso, Paris.
Mary Cassatt’s Children Playing on the Beach
Mary Cassatt was an American painter best known for her works that depicted the mothers’ love and children’s innocence. Painted in 1884, Children Playing on the Beach is one of Mary Cassatt’s many paintings that depict the tender moment of children and is undoubtedly one of the most famous beach paintings created.
The painting features two beautiful girls dressed in white pinafores playing on the sand. The best part about the painting and the artist is that she magnificently captured the innocence and natural attitude of the children. The children are so involved in the activity that they pay no attention to the viewer.
Paul Gauguin’s Two Women on the Beach
The French artist has always been known for his extraordinary paintings featuring the Polynesian island of Tahiti. Two women on the Beach or Tahitian Women on the Beach is one of those fantastic paintings by French artist Paul Gauguin that brings out the distant cultures closer to us.
It is often said that the artist went to Tahiti in 1891 to escape the modern society in France and discover the Polynesian lifestyle. While in his escapade, Gauguin carefully studied the landscape of Tahiti, its people, and their lifestyle. His observation soon became the subject of his art, the native women in particular.
Talking about the painting features two women sitting in the sand, probably beach, and one wearing the traditional pareo sarong. In contrast, the other wears a Western-style scarf tied around her body. The painting is simply an illustration of the influence of the West on Tahitian culture during that time.
Claude Monet’s The Beach At Tourville
Monet’s painting The Beach at Trouville was created in 1870 when Monet and his new bride, Camille Doncieux, were on their honeymoon on the Normandy coast. The beach setting and parasols cast the faces of Camille and Madame Boudin in shallow shadows in the painting. However, neither figure is given much attention; they are mere ciphers in a panoramic landscape.
The painting depicts the artist’s transition from his early figurative paintings to his later, more abstract landscapes. In fact, Monet is credited with developing the Impressionist style of outdoor painting. Moreover, at the moment when the sun sparkles off the sea, we can observe the essence of Impressionism.
Also, this masterpiece is a highly influential Impressionist painting, as it demonstrates how Claude Monet achieved his signature style. Monet’s painting is an example of Impressionism in classical landscape painting, unlike the works of fellow Impressionists Renoir and Degas, who were interested primarily in the nude.
William Turner’s The New Moon
The Kent Coast near Margate is the subject of this incredible painting by Turner, who often stayed in the area during his later years. Turner had since the 1820s been interested in experiments that involved placing both the setting sun and the rising moon into his paintings.
A classic image of the south coast, this evocative painting is part of a group of works in which Turner explored the idea of placing the moon near the sun, introducing a dramatic and often surreal element to the background. This example, painted with soothing oils on canvas, features a phenomenal sky full of clouds and a sea turned silver by the moonlight.
The elegant brushstrokes and subtle washes of color capture a sense of both calmness and anticipation – a landscape bathed in moonlight, reflecting a shimmering gleam out over the sea.
The Bottom Line
These are some of the most famous beach paintings ever seen to enjoy during summer. Even if you can’t be at a beach in person, looking at these paintings shall surely help you relax and feel like you are there.