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Vicente Palmaroli | Summer Days, 1885


Sitting near the seashore, a lady puts her reading aside for a moment to turn and look out at the spectator.
Despite her location out on the beach, she wears a long purple skirt with splendid black lace decoration, a white pinafore, a comfortable shawl and a hat with blond lace and feathers.
In her hand she holds a small parasol. She appears to have settled comfortably and sits at a distance from the other holiday-makers and next to a number of rush-bottomed chairs (for resting by the sea), other useful beach items, and a few articles of clothing.
Reserved, reading and surprised in her solitude, there is a melancholic, refined air about this female holiday-maker that is greatly in keeping with both the tastes of the European upper-middle class of the last quarter of the 19th century and a stereotype of bourgeois femininity well-known through literature and reflected in a perfectly defined type of art.