Monte Carlo: View of Roquebrune, 1884 by Claude Monet

In December 1883 Monet travelled with Pierre Auguste Renoir to the Mediterranean coast. It would be a revelation to the artist, who was transfixed by the region's brilliant sun and vibrant colours. The two artists stopped at Aix-en-Provence to visit Paul Cezanne (1839-1906) before journeying on to Italy. Monet spent three weeks travelling with Renoir before returning home finding it difficult to work in company. He returned alone to the Mediterranean in January of the following gear.

On his second trip Monet painted this view of Roquebrune situated between Monaco and Menton, above the bay of Monte Carlo. The colours, which are predominantly purple with touches of green and white, are quite magical. He has worked quickly and sketchily, merely hinting at the actual structure of the landscape formations. It is primarily a work of colour and light, with the specifics of the location of less importance. During the trip he wrote frequently to Alice Hoschede and spoke of the rapidity with which the light and colours changed, describing the colours os 'of a brandy flame or of a pigeon's breast'.