Activities: Gonzalès

Detail from Eva Gonzalès (1849–1883), Children Playing on Sand Dunes, Grandcamp, 1877–78

Detail from Eva Gonzalès, 'Children Playing on Sand Dunes, Grandcamp' (1877–78)



Take a moment to look at the painting.

  • Examine the composition, identifying any solid shapes and forms you can make out in the fore/middle/background.
  • Light and shade are important qualities of this work; they help to create a sense of depth and perspective. How else do they contribute to the mood and atmosphere of the painting? Use visual evidence from the work to support your answer.



Gonzalès and Morisot were two of four female painters associated with the Impressionist movement. Compare this work with Morisot’s Le Corsage Noir in terms of the following characteristics:

  • subject-matter
  • colour pallet
  • brush stroke
  • mood/atmosphere

To what extent, if at all, do you think their gender may have influenced the women’s style and subject-matter?



Recreate the effect... Perspective

This work contains several strong vertical and horizontal elements- note the path, skyline, and triangular stretch of grass on the right of the composition. Sketch the work in watercolours altering the horizon line and placement of the figures; how does this impact on the sense of perspective and depth? Develop one of the versions into a finished piece using oil pastels. How does the change of medium affect the look and overall feel of the work?

Create your own... Impressionist childhood scene!

Find a childhood photo and paint it adopting Gonzalès’ Impressionistic style. Focus on the figurative elements (people) and depict the background in an atmospheric way by using broad, loose brushstrokes.