Of all the Impressionist painters, Claude Monet was the most attracted by the changing atmosphere of coastal landscapes, especially those of Brittany and Normandy. This view of a beach from a hotel window depicts the beach at Étretat, which Monet painted in a series in February 1883. It is a winter scene in foul weather. In the foreground, two fishermen stand beside their boat and three “caloges” (disused boat hulls used for storage) occupy the narrow space available to beaching boats. The picturesque shape of the cliff stands out against the curtain of rain that streaks the sky in the distance, the horizontal brush strokes emphasizing the strata of the rock. Buffeted by violent winds, the pearly waves—depicted in rapid, vibrant curls—fill the central part of the picture. The work was bought in the year it was created, by the famous Parisian dealer Durand-Ruel, who supported the Impressionists. In 1902, it was sold to the museum, which was one of the first to acquire Impressionist paintings.


  • Title: Rough Sea at Etretat
  • Creator: Claude Monet
  • Date Created: 1883
  • Physical Location: Lyon, France
  • Physical Dimensions: H.81 ; L.100 cm
  • Provenance: acquired in 1902
  • Rights: Image © Lyon MBA - Photo Gilles Alonso
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps