The summer sun is shining bright and it’s hard not to feel the heat. But fear not, these 5 iconic summer-themed paintings are sure to cool it off for you. So sit back, relax and enjoy the summer vibes of these masterpieces and who knows you might be even inspired to recreate one of these scenes this summer!
1. On The Beach by Edward Henry Potthast
The painting On The Beach captures the excitement of a day at the beach, depicting three women and a young girl running towards the waves while a figure swims in the background. The composition is energetic, typical of Potthast’s style. But it is the very sense of motion that sets it apart from the Impressionists’ languid compositions. The colour palette on the other hand is classic Impressionist with bright hues and a sense of lightness. Indicated by an inscription on the stretcher, the beach shown in this painting is possibly Coney Island in New York. As a matter of fact, it was around 1910 that Edward Henry Potthast began exploring the beaches of New York, especially Coney Island and Rockaway Beach.
2. A Bigger Splash by David Hockney
Drawn to the relaxed and sensual way of life in California, the British artist David Hockney permanently settled down on the West Coast. To his observation, everyone in California had a swimming pool and it was used all around the year unlike in Britain where it was a luxury as the damp and cold weather made it almost impossible to use them.
The painting ‘A Bigger Splash’ with its vibrant colour palette captures the true essence of a summer afternoon. The artwork is one of the many swimming pool paintings that he created between 1964 and 1971.
3. The Swimming Hole by Thomas Eakins
One of the masterpieces of American painting, it portrays six nude men swimming in a lake. The outdoor setting with a lush green background, the brilliant blue water and the tones of yellow and orange of the figures’ skin make it a perfect summertime artwork.
Eakins taught the nude study at Pennslyvania Academy of Fine Arts and this painting posed as the golden opportunity for him to showcase his mastery. The art historian Doreen Bolger recalls, “perhaps Eakins’ most accomplished rendition of the nude figure”.
4. La Grenouillère by Claude Monet
La Grenouillère is a popular leisure spot and summer destination located along the Seine River, near Paris. The bathing and boating house has also been painted by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Monet’s rendition of La Grenouillère captures the quintessence of a summer-themed artwork featuring a bustling riverbank filled with people enjoying themselves on boats, in cafes and in the water. The play of light and shadow, loose and fluid brushwork, and vivid hues make it a classic impressionist artwork.
5. A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat
Last on the list is the masterpiece by Georges Seurat. The artwork apart from exuding summer vibes, marks the beginning of neo-impressionism with its pointillist technique. It depicts Parisians out in a park along the River Seine on a Sunday afternoon. An interesting fact is that the painting is a mirror impression of the artist’s earlier artwork titled Bathers at Asnières.
From skinny dipping in a lake, to a day at the beach to chilling at a park, these summer-themed artworks have it all. Want to find out what happens when art interacts with the great outdoors? Read the blog Art &The Great Outdoors now!