French artists painted people out of doors throughout the 19th century.
Many of the earlier paintings show people at work in an agricultural setting.
But by the 1870s there was an interest in showing people at leisure in the city or at a seaside resort. This is particularly seen in the work of the young Impressionists,
This change in the artists' choice of subject reflected social and economic changes in French society.
In the earlier paintings by Millet, Bastien and Seurat, each artist focuses on individual figures, creating a mood and conveying a message.
In the later paintings, busy scenes by Picasso and Dufy, the focus is the scene itself. The figures are contributing to an overall impression of movement and mood.