After moving around Europe several times to avoid the chaos of the Franco-Prussian War, Monet finally returned to his native France in late 1871. Once home, he decided to return to painting in the town of Argenteuil near Paris. It is no exaggeration to say that he grew to maturity as an impressionist artist during the seven years he spent here. The wave of modern culture that was washing over Europe had left no more than colorful accents on Argenteuil. There, Monet produced over one hundred and seventy works that document the emergence of early impressionism. Each summer during the weekends, the inlet of Le Petit Gennevilliers would bustle with yachts that had come to go racing. The setting sun would slowly stain the last reluctant traces of blue in the sky before ushering in the night. The brief golden rays of summer light would reflect on the water, which would shimmer like satin. Monet’s extemporaneous yet careful use of his brush reproduces the landscape as it changed from second to second. The shadowy outlines of two people standing at the edge of the water in the lower foreground are a nostalgic echo of the people who were bustling at the edge of the water just a few minutes before. In 1878, Monet made up his mind to vacate “this nice little house where I have been able to live modestly and work so well.” The town that had once occupied Monet’s heart had changed. Modernity, with all of its preoccupation with convenience, had impinged upon Argenteuil. The population had swelled, and the town had started to erupt with all of the contractions of urban life. Monet’s move marked the end of the “classic age” of impressionism.