It was at the suggestion of the art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel that Monet first visited Antibes on the Mediterranean Sea, where the present work was executed and where the artist based himself from January to April of 1888. During the 1880s Monet increasingly explored regions outside Paris and Normandy in search of new artistic inspiration. Sometimes these ventures into new territory were accompanied by doubts and challenges, as in the south, where the brilliant sun was initially difficult for Monet. He wrote to his companion and future wife, Alice Hoschedé, from Antibes: "How beautiful it is here, to be sure, but how difficult to paint! I can see what I want to do quite clearly but I'm not there yet. It's so clear and pure in its pinks and blues that the slightest misjudged stroke looks like a smear of dirt" (quoted in Jennifer A. Thompson, Masterpieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Impressionism and Modern Art, 2007, p. 72). Despite any misgivings Monet initially may have had about his ability to depict Mediterranean light, it is clear that he meticulously worked through these compositions until he was satisfied with the result. In June 1888 the dealer Theo van Gogh, Vincent's brother, acquired and exhibited ten paintings that Monet had painted at Antibes, a true testament to the success of this series of works.
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