Monet’s studio boat

Claude Monet
Field of yellow irises at Giverny (Champ d’iris jaunes à Giverny) 1887
oil on canvas
45.0 x 100.0 cm
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Gift of Michel Monet, 1966 (inv. 5172)
© Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, © Bridgeman-Giraudon / Presse
Claude Monet
Taking a walk near Argenteuil (En promenade près d’Argenteuil) 1875
oil on canvas
60.0 x 81.0 cm
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris
Gift of Mrs Nelly Sergeant-Duhem, 1985 (inv. 5332)
© Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, © Bridgeman-Giraudon / Presse

For Monet, painting water was a grand obsession and he was quick to have a boat built and equipped with a semi-enclosed cabin that he could use as a studio in which to sit and paint. In the summer of 1874, Monet and his friends Édouard Manet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir spent many pleasant hours drifting along the Seine near Argenteuil, painting each other’s portraits and capturing the rustic idyll of their surrounds. In 1887, the American artists John Singer Sargent and Theodore Robinson and the sculptor Auguste Rodin were invited to join him on painting excursions when he took the studio boat out. By this time the Monet family had moved further along the Seine to the town of Giverny. A glorious painting in the exhibition, Field of yellow irises at Giverny, dates from this period. It is easy to imagine Monet and his friends stopping along the riverbank to paint this field of flowers in full bloom.

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