Beyond the abusive association of this oil painting with impressionism, Manet and E. Boudin can be regarded as the inspirers of this work. The left half of this painting exhibits a loose and expressive brushstroke, especially concerning the waves. The water, sky and sand loose their intrinsic qualities to reveal painting as pure painting. A sail appears on the horizon, counterbalancing the flags that float above the white shacks. The contrast with the dark shadows evokes Manet. The more detailed figures on the beachfront contemplate the sea, enveloped by a penumbra under the clear sky, a scene which reminds us of the beaches of Deauville and Trouville painted by Boudin. With this magnificent painting, XIX century Portuguese painting, although discontinuous, assumed its first consentaneous expression with the international avant-garde. Painting became a conscious sign of its own inherent excess, an interrogation of the creative conditions of picturing the visible.


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