Interestingly, it has some Japanese elements in it, such as the color of the skiff, the exageration of the length of the oar, the diagonal placement of the skiff and oar, and cutting off the boat at the right edge of the painting. Interesting, but not surprising. Monet collected Japanese prints.
While some of us love to kayak, rowing a skiff was a popular activity in the 19th century. It still is to some extent in certain places. One such place is the River Thames in England. Some of the other Monet paintings we saw were of the Houses of Parliament on the Thames. And the Thames reminds me of a story. (Oh come now, I can hear you all moaning and saying "oh, no". Just relax and read on).
Anyway, there was a gentleman who used to go rowing on the Thames by himself every weekend. One day he was merrily rowing along when a barge passed close by. The wake of the barge tossed his boat a bit and he lost grip of one of his oars, which slipped out of the davit and quickly drifted out of his reach. Needless to say perhaps, it was going to be a bit of a "sticky wicket" to get home with only one oar.
Happily, our gentleman spotted another skiff in which a man was rowing two ladies about, seated in the stern in their Sunday finest with pretty parasols to shade them. In the bow of the other boat our gentleman spied an extra pair of oars. Ah, he was saved! With great relief he called over to the other boat, "I say, my good man, could you lend me one of those oars?"
The other man's face turned red and he immediately turned his boat away, calling back in an indignant voice, "I beg your pardon governor, thems ain't 'ores, thems me sisters!"