The Art and Where to Find It

Beach Scene

Artist: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Year: 1877

Location: Morpeth Street. The original is in the collection of The National Gallery, London.

Exhibited at the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877, it was created using oil essence on three pieces of paper that were stuck together and mounted on canvas. It was not painted outdoors, but in the artist's studio and it is almost certain that the central group of a young girl and maid was posed. When asked how he managed to paint this outdoors, Degas is quoted as saying: "It was quite simple. I spread my flannel vest on the floor of the studio, and had the model sit on it. You see, the air you breathe in a painting is not necessarily the same as the air out of doors." The artwork is the start of Degas preoccupation with the theme of combing hair and was painted in response to his friends Edouard Manet and Berthe Morisot making beach paintings around the same time. Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas, Beach Scene copyright The National Gallery, London.

Listen to Rotherham school pupils discussing the art: