Monet probably painted this work in his home town of Le Havre, where he was working in 1873. Port scenes were very much the speciality of his friend Boudin, but whereas Boudin was more interested in topographical, all-embracing marine views, Monet has focussed here on just three ships and their reflections in the water. In this painting, the middle vessel is undergoing repairs to her stern. A number of workers dressed in blue clamber around a floating wooden platform, which enables them to prepare the huge ship for sea. Monet painted several views of the harbour between 1872-73, one of which was his famous ‘Impression: Sunrise’, which gave rise to the term ‘Impressionism’.