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From very early in his career Liebermann frequently painted children, particularly orphans, either playing or working. His earliest works on the theme of childhood were painted at a time when Liebermann was influenced by Dutch painters of the 17th century, particularly Frans Hals. His first paintings of bathers were made in the mid-1870s. He remained deeply attached to Holland throughout his life, frequently visiting the coast around Scheveningen. This is the second of two oils, based on sketches Liebermann made on the Dutch coast in 1903. The figure in the middle appears rather stiffly posed, while the other boys are depicted more naturalistically.

August 2004