This painting is one of five beach scenes produced by Monet in the summer of 1870, which may have been preparatory sketches for a larger painting that Monet intended to submit to the Salon. The figure to the left is probably Monet's wife Camille, and the woman on the right may be the wife of Eugène Boudin, whose own beach scenes influenced the work of Monet.
The painting is unusual in its composition - a close-up of symmetrically disposed figures - and in the bravura of its technique. The white dashes of paint indicating the dress of the left-hand figure are prominent. They contrast with the shadowed face, probably concealed by a veil, and the parasol shading the flowered hat.
Grains of sand are present in the paint, confirming that it must have been at least partly executed outside on the beach.