Born in the West Indies, Pissarro settled in Paris in 1855, where he made the acquaintance of Corot and became fascinated by painting. He soon drew his first Impressionist inspirations from his friends Monet, Renoir, and Cézanne, and exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1863. The conflicts of 1870 drove him to go to London, where he discovered the work of Constable and Turner, which had a profound influence on his canvases. On his return to France, the fulfillment of his art was achieved, in the company of Cézanne, in the towns of Louveciennes and Pontoise.
In 1902, on the eve of his departure for Normandy, Pissarro, the Impressionist master, wrote: “Dieppe is an admirable place for a painter who likes life, movement and colour. I have friends there, and I know what subjects I would like to paint.” His hotel room had a view of the harbour and fish market. From his window, he painted six versions of the Duquesne Basin, focusing on the various activities that went on there and the variety of atmospheric effects. Those paintings made up one of his last major series on a single subject. This work shows the technical virtuosity resulting from fifty years of experience, an expertise stamping this work with a sureness of touch and freedom of handling then more assured than ever.