About this artwork

The bold light effects of the moonlit harbour of Honfleur, Normandy contribute to the scene's dramatic impact. Dark clouds obscure the moon but its presence is confirmed by the brilliant patches of light and reflections in the water. These are echoed by the lighthouse's beam and its reflection. The sailing boats and steam ship provide strong dark silhouettes against the elements. This is an early work by Monet, painted with an unusual combination of palette knife and brush. He commented later on his admiration for moonlight scenes but also on the difficulties involved in painting nature at night.

  • title: A Seascape, Shipping by Moonlight
  • accession number: NG 2399
  • artist: Claude MonetFrench (1840 - 1926)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: The sea Impressionism
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created: About 1864
  • measurements: 60.00 x 73.80 cm (framed: 93.30 x 104.80 x 12.70 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1980
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Monet is the most famous of the Impressionist artists. His painting 'Impression, Sunrise', shown in Paris in 1874, prompted critics to label him and fellow exhibitors as 'Impressionists'. Monet had moved to Paris from Le Havre, Normandy, where, inspired by Boudin, he painted landscapes in the open air. Encouraged by friends he met in Paris, including Pissarro and Renoir, he continued throughout his long and prolific life to capture in his paintings through the vivid use of colour changing light effects. He was to refine this interest through his 'series' pictures, exploring the same subject at different times of day and year.

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