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Boats in a Harbour

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Boats in a Harbour About 1873


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’.

Glossary Open


An influential style of painting that originated in France in the 1870s with artists such as Claude Monet, Pierre-August Renoir and Alfred Sisley. They were interested in capturing the changing effects of light, frequently exploring this through landscape scenes painted in the open air.


Refers to landscape pictures that faithfully represent a real place as it is seen rather than an imaginary or distorted landscape.

Impressionism, Topographical


  • Acc. No. NG 2423
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 71.20 x 54.00 cm (framed: 94.30 x 76.00 x 10.20 cm)
  • Credit Bequest of Lord Amulree 1984