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Coast Scene, Bathers

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903)

About this artwork

In this intimately scaled seascape, James McNeill Whistler employed the sparest of compositional elements to evoke a coastal atmosphere. Broad horizontal bands of blues and gray suggest sky, ocean, and sand, with dabs of thin pigment giving economical, yet expressive form to around a dozen figures on the windswept beach. Whistler dedicated much of his artistic practice to capturing the mood and color harmonies of marine scenes. Coast Scene, Bathers was painted en plein air, a practice to which the artist returned in the 1880s. It marked a distinctive shift from his studio-produced Nocturnes of the previous decade.


On View, Gallery 176


Arts of the Americas


James McNeill Whistler


Coast Scene, Bathers


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1884–1885


Oil on panel


Butterfly monogram, lower right


13.3 × 21.9 cm (5 1/4 × 8 5/8 in.)

Credit Line

Walter S. Brewster Collection

Reference Number


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