Mindfulness and Art: Children on the Sand Dunes, Grandcamp

Painting of children in sand dunes
Eva Gonzalès (1849-1883), Children on the Sand Dunes, Grandcamp, 1877-1878. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland.Credit

Take 5 minutes

Spend 5 minutes sitting in silence, looking at this painting.

Some things to reflect on while looking in silence:

  • How do you feel while looking at the painting?
  • What do you notice? What is your eye drawn to?
    • The artist's lines and marks
    • The composition
    • The light
    • The shadows
    • The colours
    • The forms and shapes
    • The subject
  • What is the mood and atmosphere?
  • Why do you think the artist created the painting?
Painting of boy's head and shoulders
Painting of a beach and dunes

About the painting

Eva Gonzalès (1849–1883), Children on the Sand Dunes, Grandcamp, 1877–​​​​​​​1878

Gonzalès painted this scene at the seaside resort of Grandcamp in Normandy. It depicts local children by the verge of a coastal path. A basket of fish rests beside them. Areas of sand and grass dominate the composition, while a pale blue line marks the high horizon. Gonzalès was Edouard Manet’s only formal pupil. Her loose sketchy brushwork shows the influence of his teaching. Although Gonzalès associated with the Impressionists, she, like Manet, preferred to show her work at the Salon rather than at their independent exhibitions. Read more about this painting by Gonzalès.

Explore more