The Manneporte near Etretat, 1886. Claude Monet. Oil on canvas. Bequest of Lillie P. Bliss, 1931.
In 1886, the writer Guy de Maupassant published his eyewitness account of Monet at Etretat. "The artist walked along the beach, followed by children carrying five or six canvases representing the same subject at different times of the day and with different effects. He took them up and put them aside by turns according to changes in the sky and shadows." Monet painted the dramatically arched projection in the cliff at Etretat six times from this angle: twice during each of three visits to the Normandy coast in 1883, 1885, and 1886. He refined the pictures in his studio.