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Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur, 1865

Claude Monet

French, 1840-1926
Oil on canvas
35-1/4 x 59-1/4 in. (89.5 x 150.5 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1973.33.2.P
© 2012 The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

With this impressive seascape, Claude Monet made his debut in the prestigious annual Salon in Paris and set a course toward his Impressionist work of the following decade. The large-scale marine painting, which shows a bustling French port across the English Channel from Portsmouth, focuses on the vernacular rather than on narrative or history. Monet executed the choppy waters of the inlet with unblended paint, and the muddy browns and blacks, incorporated even beneath the partly cloudy sky, lend a sense of authenticity to the scene. The construction of the composition is still apparent, though, particularly through Monet’s use of the figures and their boats, as they struggle with the wind, with the current and with fishing nets.

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