Claude Monet, an impressionist painter, created this painting during his second visit to Étretat in 1883. He worked from his hotel room, where he had a view over the cliffs and the sea.
The composition is split into four areas, with the beach in the foreground, then the rough sea, the famous cliffs, and finally, the cloudy sky. The natural forces dominate the human presence of the two fishermen. All of the elements are composed of touches of blue, yellow and green. Even the shadows are colored. The jerky and rapid stroke translates the rough waves, and the force of the wind.
Monet, who learned to compose his work outdoors, under the painter Boudin, depicts an ephemeral vision. Confined to his room during the storm, he tasked himself with rendering the variations of light, and the reflections of the sky and sea, that he could observe from his window.