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Boats on the Beach at Étretat

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926

About this artwork

Forced indoors by inclement fall weather, Claude Monet painted Boats on the Beach at Étretat and The Departure of the Boats, Étretat while looking out the window of his room at the Hôtel Blanquet. The two form a pair that share a palette, subject, and vantage point. In one of his daily letters to his companion and future wife, Alice Hoschedé, dated November 24, 1885, Monet he described first Boats on the Beach and then Departure of the Boats: “In the afternoon, I worked in my room on my caloges [retired fishing boats covered with tarred planks and used for storage] in the rain, then I attempted to do, always through the window, a picture of the boats departing.”

Monet centered each composition on the boats, combining pastel blues, pinks, purples, and greens to render wet surfaces. The brightly colored hulls of beached crafts lend relative scale to the structures in Boats on the Beach, and the groups of figures at the water’s edge, composed of quick, gestural strokes, register human activity in Departure of the Boats.


On View, Gallery 240


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Claude Monet


Boats on the Beach at Étretat


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Inscribed lower right: Claude Monet


66 × 82.3 cm (26 × 32 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number


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