Claude Monet was perhaps the most respected member of the group of Impressionists. At various phases of his life he often spent time on the Normandy coast, which was one of his favourite subjects. One such fondly frequented place was Étretat, a small fishing village and weekend resort close to Le Havre. He regularly painted on the shore, and with a lust for adventure set about discovering an almost unapproachable stretch of coast to the west. Even in the harshest of circumstances he would be outside, capturing the landscape, the movement of ships, or perhaps the herring fishing boats pulled up onto the pebbly beach.