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The Manneporte (Étretat), 1883

 
 
 
 
 
Details     Description
   
Artist Monet, Oscar-Claude Etretat lies on the bay of the Seine, not far from Le Havre, and in Monet's time was one of the most fashionable watering places on the northern coast of France. It was much frequented by artists and writers, probably because it's very picturesque character. Sharp, steep cliffs rise up from the beach, carved by the acton of the tides into strange pyramidal and needle-like formations. In several places the sea has hewn out arches on the rock like the astonishing formation called Manne-Porte, which Monet recorded a number of times.
This picture and a number of other versions were painted during his visit to Etretat in 1883. The Metropolitan Museum has another picture of the same subject, made three years later and brighter in colour , full of rose and blue. In this 1883 example a very fine effect has been achieved with a more limited palette. Of greater importance than colour is the golden light dancing on the waves, refracted by the water , and illuminating the rough surfaces of this extraordinary example of nature's architecture.

 

 
Date

1883

 
Institution The Metropolitan Museum of Art
   
Medium Oil on canvas
 
Dimensions 65.4 x 81.3 cm
 
 
 
 

 

 

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