Although Monet is probably best known for his horticultural paintings, he produced many works influenced by his surroundings. The artist spent the winter of 1882 in Pourville. He enjoyed the time spent there and returned with his family the following summer. The Beach in Pourville is one of the paintings he created there.
The painting depicts the deserted beach with cliffs at either end. About two thirds of the painting is taken up by sea and sky.
The painting was stolen from the Poznan National Museum in September 2000. It was cut out of its frame and replaced with a copy, which had been painted on cardboard. At the time, the painting was valued at more than $1 million, and was the only painting by Monet on public display in Poland. The theft was discovered on 19 September 2000, and police searched for a man who had been seen making sketches of paintings in the museum two days earlier.