Boudin was born in coastal Normandy. One of the first French landscape painters to paint outdoors (most had painted in studios from sketches), he later encouraged the young Claude Monet to do the same. The two artists shared an interest in depicting atmospheric conditions, the changing qualities of light, and the movement and reflections of water, particularly along the Normandy coast.
Although his paintings were part of the first impressionist exhibition of 1874, Boudin did not consider himself an innovator. His later paintings, such as this one, show the influence of the impressionists in their freedom from detail, unifying textural effects of vigorous brushwork, and use of bright color.