Arts Everyday Living: What Do You Know About Monet?, Part 10–Happy Birthday Monet!

Claude Monet, Etretat–The Beach and the Falaise d’Amont 1885, oil on canvas, Gift of Mrs. John H. (Anna R.) in memory of John H. Winterbotham; Joseph Winterbotham, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

Title: Etretat—the Beach and the Falaise d’Amont, 1885

Artist: Claude Monet (1840-1926)



Today, November 14th, Claude Monet would be 183 years old (along with sculptor Auguste Rodin)! Did he ever imagine his international fame in the 21st century?

So let’s continue our series WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT MONET?, now in its 10th blog. 

Etretat, only about 50 miles from Pourville along the Normandy coast, has attracted generations of artists from Courbet to Matisse with its dramatic rock formations including the Porte D’Aval, the Manneporte, and finally the Falaise (or cliff) d’Amont pictured above.  Monet journeyed there too, first in the 1860s and then later for at least three visits in 1883, 1885, and 1886, seeking to capture the unique beauty and power of nature unrivaled by man. So determined in his artistic quest that he once almost drowned, caught by a high tide while working on a canvas of the Manneporte arch.

Fortunately, Monet had a considerably less life threatening experience when working on The Beach and the Falaise d’Amont. For here we are positioned well above the sea, looking down the beach that ends with  the Falaise d’Amont, jutting outward across the horizon. Do you also see the small opening at its base through which we can see the deep blue of the surrounding water?

Can you tell the time of day? Perhaps near sunset, a luminous rosy glow moving across the broad, sandy expanse, the towering cliffs and the Falaise d’Amont itself. While the aquamarine sea is illuminated by the multi-colored reflections of the transformative light.

For more views of Monet’s Etretat, just google:

Manneporte, 1883, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Manneporte, 1885, Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Cliff and Porte d’Aval, 1885, Museum Barberini




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