Carting the canvas

Claude Monet
The Seine at Port-Villez, rose effect (La Seine à Port-Villez, effet rose) (1894)
oil on canvas
52.3 x 82.2 cm
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Gift of Michel Monet, 1966 (inv. 5002)
© Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, © Bridgeman-Giraudon / Presse
Claude Monet
The Seine at Port-Villez, evening effect (La Seine à Port-Villez, effet du soir) 1894
oil on canvas
52.7 x 92.7 cm
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Gift of Michel Monet, 1966 (inv. 5025)
© Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, © Bridgeman-Giraudon / Presse

It could be heavy work, carrying around all the canvases needed to capture the varied effects of rapidly changing light and atmosphere. Monet overcame this predicament in various ways. On one visit to the Normandy coast he hired a local fisherman to carry his canvases, so many of them were required on any one day. On another occasion the famous French writer, Guy de Maupaussant, who was staying at Étretat at the same time the Monet family were holidaying there, wrote how Monet was followed on his painting expeditions by his children, who carried his paints and canvases for him. On one of his numerous visits to London, Monet overcame the problem of lugging multiple canvases about, by painting views of the Thames directly from the window of the hotel he was staying in. Back home at Giverny, Monet had a special cart made so that he could have his painting paraphernalia wheeled around the garden and of course when he was painting on the river Seine he used his purpose-built studio boat.

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