Bord de mer
(Gustave Courbet)


Courbet referred to his seascapes as “landscapes of the sea”, making annual visits to the Normandy coast between the mid-1860s and 1870, particularly around Trouville, where he could develop the pictorial vocabulary that he employed with his distinctive minimalist views of the sea and sky under different conditions of light and weather.


Courbet painted this view looking out over the English Channel during the early summer of 1870. The sea is still retreating towards low tide and while there are no boats visible some moorings for fishing boats can be seen in the middle distance. The freshness of the wet sand is accentuated by the pools of water still remaining giving a whole range of colours across to the distant horizon, echoed in the sky above.


Within a year the tumultuous events of the defeat at Sedan, followed by the commune in which Courbet was an active participant, had led to his permanent exile in Switzerland where his fascination with water continued as he painted views around his new home on Lake Geneva.

29.5 x 46 cm; Framed size: 50 x 65 cm
oil on canvas

Private collection, France


This painting will be included in the Gustave Courbet catalogue raisonné under preparation by the Gustave Courbet Committee.

Historical Period
Realism to Impressionism - 1840-1900
Price band
$250,000 - $350,000