By the Seashore

Artist: Auguste Renoir (French, Limoges 1841–1919 Cagnes-sur-Mer)

Date: 1883

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 36 1/4 x 28 1/2 in. (92.1 x 72.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929

Accession Number: 29.100.125


Renoir likely painted this work in his studio, posing his model and future wife, Aline Charigot, in a wicker chair. The beach behind her probably represents the Normandy coast near Dieppe. This canvas reflects the impact of Renoir’s trip to Italy in 1881–82, which inspired him to unite the “grandeur and simplicity” he admired in Renaissance art with the luminosity of Impressionism. His new approach, which he called his “dry” manner, is evident in Aline’s face, with its carefully drawn features and smooth handling of paint. The medley of quick strokes in the background, however, displays the freer technique of Renoir’s earlier years.