Albert Edelfelt lived in Paris between 1874 and 1905 interrupting his stays with summer sojourns in Finland at his beloved Haikko, to the east of Helsinki. Edelfelt writes to a friend in August 1880 about the newly acquired summer home The natural surroundings are lovely, the only thing I have against it is its long distance from Paris. Edelfelt was to paint a number of pictures in the years to come featuring the shoreline, the ships in the bay, the landing of Haikko, moored rowing boats and various activities like children playing at the shore, or his sisters rowing. The landscape scenes were either pure reflection on the beauty of the nature surrounding his summer-house or the stage for his figurative compositions. Haikko was an immense source of inspiration for Edelfelt until his death in 1905.
The present painting of the view of the bay at Haikko was painted in the late summer of 1883. Later in 1887 Edelfelt reworked the same view inserting a lady with a parasol in the foreground (see Kallio-Sivin, Albert Edelfelt, 2004, p. 82) In the present work, painted from his summer villa overlooking the bay, Edelfelt indulges in the delights of the Nordic summer-evening. He renders the mist rising from the warm sea imbuing the ships and barges in the bay, and the shore on the horizon. He paints with a bold brush the pale blue streak on the water, stirred up by a puff of wind, and the red of the maple tree contrasting with the green vegetation. The influence of the impressionists, particularly the Dane P.S. Krøyer, is noticeable in the way Edelfelt loosens up the forms and lets the light and the air become the bearer of his personal style.