Loiseau painted the Normandy shoreline throughout his career, in order to explore the changes of light and atmosphere. The practice of “series paintings” developed alongside the Impressionist preference to work outside or en plein air, and its chief proponent was the father of the Impressionists, Claude Monet. Monet’s practice, of switching from one painting to another and working with the moving light throughout the day, inspired many followers of Impressionism. Following in Monet’s footsteps, Loiseau’s most notable series paintings are regarded as some of his most accomplished work of his career.
From 1893, Gustave Loiseau exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris and he exhibited works at the Impressionist exhibitions of 1890 and 1896. This piece was painted just a few years after, when Loiseau was really coming into his own as an artist, moving away from a pure form of Impressionism and moving toward his ‘en trellis’ or cross-hatching which gives his paintings the supple, almost touchable quality he is known for.
It is a testament to the great quality of this work that it remained in the Durand- Ruel family until the early 1970s. Paul Durand-Ruel, the leading art collector and primary patron of the Impressionists, had put Loiseau under his contract in 1894. This success enabled the artist to travel extensively to discover different regions of France, spending summers in places such as Normandy, Brittany, and the Dordogne, and returning in winter to the Isle-de-France. His paintings are faithful witnesses of his travels. Painted in 1901, this work is from the same year of Loiseau’s first one-man show at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris.