Like other artists who painted in an Impressionist style in the 1870s, Renoir eventually began to explore a different manner of painting. A trip to Italy in 1881 - 82 brought prolonged exposure to
Renaissance art and led him to emphasize contours and modeling in his painting. He deeply admired works by Raphael
, and the latter's influence may be seen in his works. He also began to abandon the notion that scenes should be painted outdoors to capture nuances of
light and atmosphere.
By the Seashore
is thought to have been painted in the artist's studio, where Renoir's model, Aline Charigot - whom he married in 1890 - posed in a wicker chair. Although Renoir visited
Guernsey the year this painting was made, the beach depicted here is probably not in the Channel Islands but near Dieppe, on the Normandy coast.