Although Boudin is associated mainly with the Normandy coast, during the 1890s he regularly wintered in the south of France, painting at Antibes, Beaulieu, Nice, Juan-les-Pins and Villefranche-sur-Mer. He had first travelled to the area in 1885 due to poor health. Villefranche lies on the Mediterranean coast to the east of Nice, and Boudin recorded many views of the harbour, citadel and surrounding landscape. The town has a deep-water harbour, capable of accommodating large boats. In this picture sailors in the right foreground are waiting to be transported across to their ships anchored in the harbour. The old Service de Santé, where sailors would have a medical check-up after arriving at the port, is visible on the right at the end of the pier.