Fisherman's Cottage on the Cliffs at Varengeville
Claude Monet, French, 1840–1926 French
60.6 x 81.6 cm (23 7/8 x 32 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
Oil on canvas
Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery (Gallery 255)
Summertime often drew Monet to the English Channel coast, and in 1881 and 1882 he explored the area around Dieppe, situated about ninety-six kilometers to the east along the coast from Le Havre. For the purpose of giving focus to the scenes he painted in Pourville and Varengeville, west of Dieppe, Monet liked the stone cabins that had been built during the Napoleonic era as posts from which to observe coastal traffic. In Monet's day they were used by fishermen for storage. The door and flanking windows anthropomorphize the cottage, giving it a nose and two eyes. We may see the cottage, but we cannot reach it, for there is no path. Indeed, all we can do is admire the view out to sea. The Channel, dotted with recreational yachts, sparkles in the distance. The cottage, especially its roof, is given an orange hue, which it may truly have possessed but which makes a striking contrast of complementaries with the blue of the water on the horizon.