About this artwork

Monet probably painted this work in his home town of Le Havre, where he was working in 1873. Port scenes were very much the speciality of his friend Boudin, but whereas Boudin was more interested in topographical, all-embracing marine views, Monet has focussed here on just three ships and their reflections in the water. In this painting, the middle vessel is undergoing repairs to her stern. A number of workers dressed in blue clamber around a floating wooden platform, which enables them to prepare the huge ship for sea. Monet painted several views of the harbour between 1872-73, one of which was his famous ‘Impression: Sunrise’, which gave rise to the term ‘Impressionism’.

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.