19th Century Spanish Summers for the Bourgeoisie

The 19th century witnessed the emergence of the Spanish bourgeoisie taking their summer holidays by the sea, at a beach or spa resort, that combined health, recreation and social life. The Spanish beaches were filled with changing huts and sunbathing chairs, walkers in their fashionable clothes stylishly dressed parents sitting under umbrellas watching their children swim and many other novel phenomena that contemporary artists immortalized.

This spectacle, of these elegantly dressed people at the seaside, became the original subject matter for some painters. 

Artists keen to pursue outdoor subjects and enjoy the seaside and coastal scenery could paint "en plein" and capture the natural light of seascapes with the costumes of the upper class, in keeping with the social changes and new customs of new customs the evolving century.

Finally free from the closed-in space of the artist's studio, each location offered unique lighting conditions. The painters became accustomed to the intensity of the Mediterranean sun.

The movement of the waves, the reverberation of light on the water, the diversity of greens and blues, the light present through the reflection of the sky on the water, were all possibilities that painters could capture through direct observation. 


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