Monet painted the town and surrounding area of Argenteuil through the 1870s and in each instant created pictures of beauty and harmony, which were often at odds with the reality of the moment. Although an
adherent of en plein air painting, Monet carefully chose the elements he wanted to include and often finished his canvases in the studio.
There is no hint in his paintings of the pollution in the river at Argenteuil or the disarray of a town throwing everything into its industry. In Red Boats at Argenteuil,1875, Monet has constructed the composition through the use of the boats, especially in the verticals of the masts Here again he uses contrasting colours through his blues and orange and reds and greens.
The canvas is alive with colour, while the depth of the water is illustrated through the purples and blues. The brushstrokes ore uniform through the water in their choppy style, but the sky is more broadly painted with blurring and merging colours, creating a very distinct contrast between the depth of the water and the translucence of the sky.