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A Beach
Jacob Maris

This beach may be at Scheveningen, close to The Hague, where Jacob Maris settled in the 1870s. A lone fisherman appears to be hauling nets alongside two beached flat-bottomed fishing boats. A few birds are the only sign of wildlife.

Maris painted the scene, particularly the sky, with broad visible stokes that are characteristic of his late work. The tracks of the brush’s bristles in the thick paint help create an impression of agitated windswept clouds and of breaking waves on the shoreline. Colours are mainly limited to ochres, greys and browns for the sandy beach, with a narrow band of indigo blue to indicate the sea.

Despite the small size of the canvas, Maris has created a sense of expansive space, in part by giving over most of the picture to the sky. Here he was following the precedent of other northern European artists, especially Dutch painters such as Jan van Goyen and Jacob van Ruisdael.

Key facts
Artist Jacob Maris
Artist dates 1837 - 1899
Full title A Beach
Date made probably late 1870s or 1880s
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 42.5 x 54.5 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented by Mrs R.M. Dunlop to the Tate Gallery, 1927; transferred, 1956
Inventory number NG4262
Location in Gallery Gallery A: Paintings after 1600
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