Knucklebones, Walberswick 1888-1889

Philip Wilson Steer (1860-1942)

This depiction of children playing is one of the outstanding seaside images of the late nineteenth century. The unusual viewpoint and the relaxed pose of the girl reclining on the right are reminiscent of works by Degas. Steer has used small spots of bright colour to recreate the pebbly beach. This technique suggests he was familiar with the Neo-Impressionist work of George Seurat. Knucklebones is one of eight Steers shown at the one and only exhibition of the London Impressionists held in 1889.

Oil on canvas,

© Tate London, 2005

Ipswich Borough Council Museums and Galleries