In around 1889 Emile Claus became fascinated with French Impressionism and spent three winters in Paris. Skaters originates from this period. The painting may therefore be seen as a transitional work that was produced between his naturalistic period and that in which he followed the same lines as French Impressionism, from the 1890s onwards. We see an echo of naturalism in the realistically depicted children who have ended their game and are climbing up the banks with their ice skating seat. The rosy evening light and the broader brushwork herald the approach of Belgian Luminism. Claus became one of this movement’s leading figures in the decades that followed.