The Rocks at Pourville, Low Tide
25 5/16 x 31 in. (64.3 x 78.7 cm)
(Paris, 1840 – 1926, Giverny, France)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Gift of Emily Sibley Watson
Location: Currently on view
This painting belongs to a series of works produced during the spring and summer of 1882, while Monet visited Pourville, a town on the Normandy coast. As he explored the beach and the rocks exposed at low tide, Monet found a startling diversity of viewpoints that enabled him to create some of his most dramatic and unexpected compositions. In all of them, Monet placed himself far out across the beach, a little to the east of Pourville. He juxtaposed the cliffs in the far distance with the fragmented forms of the rock shelves in the foreground, using unique brushstrokes to convey the movement and light of the water and clouds.
Monet’s technique gradually changed from completing paintings out of doors to one of making hundreds of concentrated studies on location. He then compiled and reworked these many sketches in his studio, where he created the final canvases.
[Label copy from Monet: Vision and Process exhibition, 2018]