Claude Monet’s The Manneport, Rock Arch West of Etretat is a painting that beautifully captures the natural archway on the coastline of Etretat, Normandy. The painting depicts the arch six times from the same angle during Monet’s visits in 1883, 1885, and 1886. This work is an excellent example of Monet’s Impressionist style which expresses one’s perception before nature.
The artist was inspired by Etretat’s picturesque scenery and painted more than 50 paintings of it. He was particularly drawn to the captivating white cliffs and jagged rocks that formed unique shapes such as this rock arch. When he painted this piece in 1883, he skillfully used his brushstrokes to depict the waves crashing against the cliff face while still maintaining a smooth continuity throughout all six versions.
Monet was known for returning to his subject matter multiple times over several years continuously adjusting each painting until he achieved what he depicted envisioned capturing in his mind’s eye. His unique approach separates his Impressionist technique from other artists’ styles through using strong vibrant colours that blend into each other with visible texture changes capturing how atmosphere affects light in a very realistic yet abstract way providing observers with a truly mesmerizing experience.