Le Havre was the setting, and the inspiration, for Claude Monet's famous 1872 painting: Impression, soleil levant (Impression, sunrise).
Normandy was, for most artists, their birthplace and home. Its proximity to Paris together with the burgeoning number of fashionable seaside resorts like Dieppe, Honfleur, Le Havre, Deauville or Trouville, along its coast meant that artists came to the region by train and stayed, producing an artistic legacy which would be hard to rival anywhere.
Breaking away from the more formalised and classical themes of the early part of the 19th century, the Impressionist painters preferred to paint outdoors, in natural light, and to concentrate on landscapes, towns and scenes of daily life.
The Honfleur artist Eugène Boudin was a forerunner of Impressionism, and had a profound influence on Claude Monet. 'If I am a painter, I owe it to Eugène Boudin" Monet would say. For over half a century, the Côte de Grâce, the Caux county, Deauville, Trouville, Le Havre and Rouen were the inspiration for numerous canvasses.