Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

The Departure of the Boats, Étretat

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

Image actions

  • 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 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. Monet purposefully arrived well after tourist season, so it is unclear whether he observed the fashionably dressed women at left or rather inserted them as a foil to the local fishermen at right.


On View, Gallery 240


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Claude Monet


The Departure of the Boats, 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 left: Claude Monet 85


73.5 × 93.5 cm (28 15/16 × 36 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Potter Palmer Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions