The light and the atmosphere held the painter's attention, but he also wants to convey the sensation of immensity in this landscape, where there's no human presence, except for some details such as the sails on the horizon.
The following year, Courbet was imprisoned because of his action during the Paris Commune. Missing his former freedom and great spaces such as the one he represented here, he wrote in a letter to a friend: "Alas, it is far away from me. Farewell to the sea and to the great skies".
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