The Calm Sea1869
Courbet painted this view looking out over the English Channel during a visit to Étretat along the coast of Normandy in August 1869. The ocean has receded at low tide, and two small boats are left on the shore. The tranquil composition, with its immense sky towering over narrow bands of water and sand, is unusual for Courbet’s marine paintings of this period, dominated by dramatically crashing waves.
- Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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