(b. 1849, Berlin, d. 1910, Berlin)

The Girl on the Boardwalk

Oil on canvas, 136 x 86 cm
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

Berlin's native son Franz Skarbina was both elegist and pop lyricist to the capital's fin-de-siècle prosperity. Like so many Prussian painters, he took much of his training in Paris. The successful artist soon received patronage as well as membership in two advanced groups, the Eleven and the Berlin Sezession. Skarbina's two themes - the pleasures of the rich, and the changing face of Berlin - were usually in complete contrast to one another.

The first category is exemplified by the Girl on the Boardwalk, painted in 1883 at a chic Belgian seaside resort. Background details bear an uncanny resemblance to Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte which was painted two years later.