On the Beach, Boulogne-sur-Mer (Primary Title)

Édouard Manet, French, 1832 - 1883 (Artist)

oil on canvas
Unframed: 12 3/4 × 26 in. (32.39 × 66.04 cm)
Framed: 21 1/2 × 34 1/2 in. (54.61 × 87.63 cm)
Not on view

As early as 1863, Manet’s submissions to the Salon were either rejected by the jury or ruthlessly condemned by critics and members of the public who decried the unconventional style and disregard for perspective in his paintings, or simply, their subject matter. Manet’s sincere commitment to his art endured even as his avant-garde works remained a target for this kind of criticism throughout the decade. Despite his refusal to exhibit with the Impressionist painters, they continued to influence one another and shared an interest in modern subjects, painting outdoors, radically bright palettes, and unusual cropping. Manet used an elongated canvas to create his only painting of the beach at Boulogne-sur-Mer on France’s northern coast, where he vacationed at least twice. Although the finished work is based on several outdoor sketches he made during his 1868 vacation, the green, blue, and white tones in this panoramic view predominate over a strictly naturalistic depiction of the seascape. The fashionable tourists, the swimming machine used to transport modest bathers between the water and the beach, and the boats that sail in the background are each rendered without apparent concern for realistic scale or perspective. Instead, Manet seems preoccupied with lending each of these figures a distinct sense of movement within the composition.

signed, lower right: "Manet"
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
Manet/Degas, musée d'Orsay, Paris, March 27 - July 23, 2023; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, September 18, 2023 - January 7, 2024

2019-2020: "Van Gogh Monet Degas, The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", Palazzo Zabarella, Padua, Italy, October 26, 2019 - March 1, 2020

2019-2021: Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, February 2 - May 5, 2019; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS, April 4, 2020 - January 10, 2021

2018-2019: "Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", The Frick Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, March 17 - July 15, 2018; Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 22 - September 22, 2019

“Spectaculaire Second Empire, 1852 – 1870,” Musée d’Orsay, September 27, 2016 – January 16, 2017

“Impressionist France: Visions of Nation from Le Gray to Monet,” The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Oct. 19, 2013-Jan. 19, 2014; Saint Louis Art Museum, Feb. 22-May 25, 2014; possible third venue t.b.d.

“Manet, Inventor of Modernity,” Musée d’Orsay, Paris, April 4-July 3, 2011

“The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting along the Normandy Coast 1850-1874,” Dallas Museum of Art, Feb. 21-May 16, 2010

“Impressionists by the Sea,” Phillips College, Washington, Oct. 20, 2007-Jan. 13, 2008; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Feb. 19-May 11, 2008

“Manet and the Sea,” (not lent to 1st venue, AIC, due to the time restrictions of the Mellon gift); Philadelphia Museum of Art, Feb. 8-May 9, 2004; Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, June 18-Sept. 26, 2004

“Manet and the Impressionists,” Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart, Sept. 21, 2002-Feb. 9, 2003

“Manet,” Foundation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, Switzerland, June 5-Nov. 11, 1996

“Origins of Impressionism,” Galeries national su Grand Palais, Paris, April 19-Aug. 8, 1994; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Sept. 27, 1994-Jan. 8, 1995

“Manet and Modern Paris,” National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, Dec. 5, 1982-March 6, 1983

“The Seashore in Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries,” Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Oct. 21-Dec. 5, 1965

“French Paintings from the Collections of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon and Mrs. Mellon Bruce,” National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, March 17-May 1, 1966

“The Pleydell-Bouverie Collection, Tate Gallery, London, 1954, no. 25

“Het Franse Lanschap can Poussin tot Cezanne,” Rijksjuseum, Amsterdam, 1951, no. 73

“Landscape in French Art,” Royal Academy, London, 1949-50, no. 242

“Anthology, French Pictures from Private Collections,” Tooth & Sons, London, 1949, no. 3

“Le Grand Siècle,” Galerie Rosenberg, Paris, 1936, no. 34

“Manet,” Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris, 1932, no. 38

“French Art,” Royal Academy, London, 1932, no. 458

“Manet,” Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1928, no. 17

“Oeuvres des XIXe et XXe Siècles,” Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1928, no. 17

“Föreningen Fransk Konst,” Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo, 1922, no. 10

“Tableaux de la Collection Faure,” Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1906, no. 11

“Exposition posthume Manet,” Ecole des Beaux-Arts, 1884

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.