In May 1888 Van Gogh went to the coast (Les Saintes Maries-de-la-Mer) for a short stay. There he made nine drawings of the boats on the shore. Vincent used these as a basis for paintings when he returned home in Arles. He was fascinated by the colors of the sea and the shapes of the little fishing boats.
In a letter to his brother, Theo he wrote: “I made the drawings of the boats when I left very early in the morning, and I am now working on a painting based on it, a size 30 canvas with more sea and sky on the right. It was before the boats hastened out; I had watched them every morning, but as they leave very early I didn’t have time to paint them.”
Current Location: Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands