Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
Oil on canvas
32 x 25 3/4 in. (81.3 x 65.4 cm)
Signed and dated (lower left): Claude Monet 86
Bequest of Lillie P. Bliss, 1931 (31.67.11)
Monet visited Étretat, a fishing village and resort along the Normandy coast, in 1883, 1885, and 1886. His paintings from these trips focus on the dramatic rock formations—in particular, the Manneporte, which is the subject of six canvases that mark the beginning of his practice of painting in series.
In 1886, the writer Guy de Maupassant published his eyewitness account of Monet at Étretat. "The artist walked along the beach, followed by children carrying five or six canvases representing the same subject at different times of the day and with different effects. He took them up and put them aside by turns according to changes in the sky and shadows." Monet refined the pictures in his studio.