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La Pointe de la Hève, Sainte-Adresse

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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Monet was in his early twenties when he painted this view across the breakwaters to the headland of La Hève, near Sainte-Adresse on the Normandy coast. He knew the area well, as he had spent his childhood in nearby Le Havre. The picture was probably made on the spot as a study for a larger studio painting, La Pointe de la Hève at Low Tide (Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth) which he showed at the Paris Salon in 1865.

The empty shingle beach has a wintry, desolate air. Three figures in a boat rowing towards us are wrapped up against the cold, and smoke rises from the chimney of the cottage on the cliff. In the distance sailing boats race along the horizon, their dark sails set against the glimmer of sunlight below the bank of grey cloud. The crisp dabs of paint suggesting pebbles on the beach and broad flat brushstrokes surrounding the boat hint at the future direction of Monet’s art.

The National Gallery, London



La Pointe de la Hève, Sainte-Adresse




Oil on canvas


H 41 x W 73 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1996

Work type



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