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Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur

Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur, 1865

Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926
Oil on canvas
35-1/4 x 59-1/4 in. (89.5 x 150.5 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

In 1865, a twenty-four-year-old Claude Monet made his Salon debut with this picture and its pendant (today in the Kimbell Art Museum), declaring an allegiance to Courbet, Manet, and the Realist avant-garde. We stand on a jetty looking across the harbor at Honfleur, a town on the Normandy Coast where the Seine empties into the English Channel. The sails of fishing boats swell with a wind that stiffens waves in the foreground and sends clouds rolling across the sky. For all its salty immediacy, the picture was painted not outdoors—en plein air—but back in Monet’s Paris studio, on the basis of sketches he had made on-site.

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