In 1883-1886 Monet annually went on etudes in Etretat, a place on the coast of Normandy, which was famous for its powerful limestone rock arcades. Melbourne landscape, apparently, one of the earliest, executed in Etretat ca. 1883. It was painted from a high point of view, perhaps from a hotel window, from where Monnet could see the cliff and the smallest of the arcades jutting out among the stormy sea – Port d’Amon.
Whirling waves, mist from foamed water, clouds floating across the sky, a huge amount of furrowed rocks, are rendered by strokes of different structure and strength, which endows the scenic surface with special energy and gives it the character of a rhythmic pattern.
The movement of the clouds crashing against the rocks of the waves is convincingly captured. The gestures of the two characters in the foreground, one of which holds the hat on his head, the other shows his hand on the sea, emphasize the effect of the immediacy of the moment. The overall tone of the picture is a light-saturated gray, over the entire surface of which runs strokes of contrasting, but muted shades of blue, green, pink and dull orange tones.