Here man and landscape are uniquely fused. The artist’s mother in black and Madame Manet in white have taken their ease on a field behind the dunes, with their billowing skirts and bonnets tied on with veils. The sun has just been shining, but now the sky is overcast; the artist’s wife has lowered the still opened parasol to her lap, and low flying swallows herald the change in weather. All this has nothing anecdotal about it, but is merely the expression of the mood of the landscape, which is accentuated on the far horizon in the shape of windmills, the small church and rooftops of the village. Manet found an understanding buyer for the painting in Paris immediately after his return, which did not prevent the Salon of 1874 from rejecting it. The jury could not accustom itself as yet to the sketchy quality of this kind of painting.
oil on canvas • -