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The Dennos Museum Center

Visitors to the Sea: Masterpieces from the Detroit Institute of Art

December 7, 2017 — APRIL 30, 2018


Two masterpieces from the DIA featuring human figures, a beach, the shore, and the water, elements of each painting, yet interpreted differently in the hands of master artists. Sisters on the Shore exemplifies William Adolphe Bouguereau’s highly finished style and his conception of idealized figures. The two girls dominate the composition and are rendered with such specificity and detail that they almost appear frozen in time. Edouard Manet, however, takes a more radical approach to the subject. In On the Beach, he has defined the figures and environment less precisely, and his expressive brushwork suggests a sense of movement among the figures as well as the sea.



Edouard Manet, On the Beach, 1896. Oil on canvas. (top)

William Adolphe Bouguereau, Sisters on the Shore, 1896. Oil on canvas. (below)