Villas at Bordighera, 1884 - by Claude Monet

The brilliant colours of the Mediterranean had a profound effect on Monet. His pictures of Bordighera in particular show the verdant foliage and exotic lushness in a riot of colour. During his trip he chose to paint places popular with the middle classes, although he did not reference specific human influence, concentrating instead on aspects of nature. Tourist views were very popular at the lime, made more so with increasing travel and the development of the railways; they sold well and many artists undertook them purely for financial gain. While Monet did not compromise his artistic aims, he almost certainly chose to paint views that would sell. At this stage of the artist's career his financial position was still precarious.

Monet worried about how these paintings would be received on his return 10 France and he greatly reworked many of them, He wrote to Alice Hoschedé frequently and in one letter described his battle to capture the light and colour of the Mediterranean: 'The palms will make me despair so much blue in One sea, and the sky it is impossible!'.