Claude Monet painted Coucher de soleil à Etretat in 1883. After a short visit to his native Le Havre, Monet journeyed to Etretat on the Channel Coast. The contour of the rugged coastal cliff gave him new inspiration.
Monet painted the cliff at different times of the day, using its dark mass as a striking foil to the dramatic play of light behind it. Sunset enshrouded the cliff in purple shadow but illuminated the sky and water in striations of pink, aqua, green, and pale gold light.
The Channel Coast continued to command Monet's attention in 1883. See a different view of this beach in Monet's The Manneporte (Etretat) in the next section.