Boudin's reverence for the coastal towns of Honfleur and Trouville, as well as his interest in depicting scenes of modernity and outdoor activity, manifested in his myriad paintings of beach scenes. These iconic portrayals came to define Boudin's oeuvre, as he admitted in a letter to his brother in November 1865: "I shall do other things, but I will always be the painter of beaches" (quoted in G. Jean-Aubry, Eugène Boudin, d'après des documents inédits, Paris, 1922, p. 62).
From the early 1860s onward, Boudin unswervingly and prolifically painted the beach at Trouville, depicting the leisure activities of fashionably-dressed bourgeoisie. These lighthearted and buoyant scenes created a counterbalance to the pictures of peasants he so frequently painted during trips to his wife's native Brittany. Following Charles Baudelaire's appeal for a painter of modern life, the beaches at Trouville provided the perfect environment for such a task. In 1863, a railway station opened in the beach town, providing the city dwellers rapid transport to holidays of frolicking and socializing. Boudin delighted in depicting these social interactions and the minute details of his subjects: the hoop-like crinoline skirts, water-soaked dogs running down the beach, children crouching by the shore and elegant parasols shading the patrons.
Years before the present work was painted, Baudelaire described Boudin in glowing terms in his Salon review: "On the margin of each of [his] studies, so rapidly and so faithfully sketched from the waves and the clouds (which are of all things the most inconstant and difficult to grasp, both in form and in color), he has inscribed the date, the time and the wind. If you have ever had the time to become acquainted with these meteorological beauties, you will be able to verify by memory the accuracy of M. Boudin's observations. Cover the inscription with your hand, and you could guess the season, the time and the wind. I am not exaggerating. I have seen it" ("The Salon of 1859," Art in Paris, 1845-1862, 1965, pp. 199-200).