Station: [17] Max Liebermann: "On Noordwijk Beach", 1908

  • Museum Kunst der Westküste


Max Liebermann's seaside scenes were created mainly in the period from 1985 until 1913. During this time the artist regulary travelled to the coast of Holland, from Scheveningen in the South to Katwijk, Noordwijk or Zaandvoort in the north. The beach had long turned into a social stage of sorts, and so in the paintings too, elegant flâneurs and bathers stroll, all splendidly staged, through the coastal landscape on foodbridges or wide boardwalks.

Liebermann’s small-scale painting On Noordwijk Beach from 1908 shows five strollers walking along a wide footpath. The artist deftly arranges the people in the picture, thereby establishing various relationships between them and the viewer. Placed in the foreground, very close to us, is a young girl wearing a nice dress and large hat. She probably belongs to the nanny who can be seen further back manoeuvring another little girl around the turquoise-coloured wooden structure. Near the middle of the picture, the dense beach grass lining the path opens up into a passage leading down to the beach and the calm, light-grey sea beyond it. At the railing a man and a woman together look towards the water and, in doing so, also direct our gaze and our curiosity into a vague distance.