Claude Monet painted Rue de la Bavolle, Honfleur in 1864. The coastal town Honfleur was a popular destination for marine painters. Monet traveled there with French artist Frederic Bazille in May 1864, and they set up their easels together along the coast, on the sea cliffs, and in the adjacent countryside.
Monet remained in Honfleur after Bazille returned to Paris. In the fall, Monet painted two versions of the volatile play of light and shadow on the village street in the lowering autumnal sun.
For Monet, capturing the intricacies of natural light was an important part of his paintings, as shown in Dejeuner sur l'herbe on the next page.