Summer is officially here. Hopefully, that means vacation and sunshine. But, in case your summer is not “en plein air,” we decided to gather our favorite beach paintings for your enjoyment. These sandy gems were either created outdoors or inspired by the ocean air. So we’ve gathered five famous beach paintings that make us want to pack the car, lather on some sunscreen, and hit the sand.
Approaching Storm by Eugene Louis Boudin 1864
We’ve all been there. We set out for a wonderful beach day and then a storm rolls in. Eugene Louis Boudin’s Approaching Storm captures that sinking feeling when big drops of rain plop on the shore. The next time you find yourself caught on the brink of a beach storm, be glad that you didn’t bring your paints and canvases to do some impressionistic painting.
Nude on the Beach by Frederick Carl Frieseke 1915
While on the topic of beaches, it’s really hard to avoid talking about nudists. Frederick Carl Frieseke’s Nude on the Beach does what any nudist does: acts nonchalant about the fact that skin is showing. But the lovely lady in this painting knows how to protect herself from harmful UV rays with a small parasol. Frieseke is clearly unafraid to take impressionism into risky territory.
The Beach at Trouville by Claude Monet 1870
When I think beach painting, one man comes to mind: Monet. And since our last painter didn’t feel the need to cover-up, we went to Claude Monet for our third choice. On this beach, not only are you required to wear clothing, but a full length dress and umbrella are recommended. Heaven forbid a little bit of Vitamin D is shed on bourgeois skin. Interesting fact: there are grains of sand in this painting. If that doesn’t confirm that some portions of this painting were created on the beach, I don’t know what does.
Summer Evening on the Beach at Skagen by by Peder Severin Kroyer 1899
Norwegian-born Danish artist Peder Sever Kroyer would depict the beach during colder moments. The couple strolling along the moonlit shore seem to be engaged in a chilling conversation. Why does she stare longingly into the water? Why is he holding her so firmly? Perhaps this painting recalls your own strolls with a lover along—calm or turbulent—waters.
Children Playing on the Beach by Mary Cassatt 1884
Last, but certainly not least, is Children Playing on the Beach by Mary Cassatt. This maternal painting depicts two endearing subjects: children and beaches. These two precious princesses are beginning to build their castle from the bountiful amounts of sand at their feet. We end with a Mary Cassatt masterpiece in order to remind us of the beach in its natural and innocent state. Whether or not you plan on painting the crowded coast nearest to you, we hope your summer is like these five paintings: full or beaches, sun, and art!