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Bathers at La Grenouillère

Claude Monet1869

The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery, London

This painting depicts a popular boating and bathing establishment with an adjacent floating café, on the Seine near Bougival to the west of Paris. In the summer of 1869 Monet was living near La Grenouillère with his mistress, Camille, and their son. Working alongside Renoir, he painted sketches of the scene in a very fresh and direct manner, possibly in preparation for a slightly larger canvas, now lost.The exceptionally free handling of Monet's painting may in part be due to the canvas being a sketch for what was to be a more ambitious composition painted back in the studio. He uses broad areas of colour to indicate the boats moored in the shadows, while dots in the lighted water in the background represent a party of bathers in the river.

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Details

  • Title: Bathers at La Grenouillère
  • Creator: Claude Monet
  • Date Created: 1869
  • Physical Dimensions: 73 x 92 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • School: French
  • Inventory number: NG6456
  • Artist Biography: Born in Paris, the son of a grocer, Monet grew up in Le Havre. Contact with Eugène Boudin in about 1856 introduced Monet to painting from nature. He was in Paris in 1859 and three years later he entered the studio of Charles Gleyre, where he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille. Edouard Manet was an influence on his figure compositions of the 1860s, while the informal style of his later landscapes originated in works such as 'Bathers at La Grenouillère', painted in 1869 when Monet worked with Renoir at Bougival. Monet was the leading French Impressionist landscape painter. Like Camille Pissarro and Charles-François Daubigny, Monet moved to London during the Franco-Prussian war (1870-1). After his return to France he lived at Argenteuil (1871-8). He exhibited in most of the Impressionist exhibitions, beginning in 1874, where the title of one of his paintings led to the naming of the movement. A period of travel followed in the 1880s, and in 1883 he acquired a property at Giverny, north-west of Paris. Thereafter Monet concentrated on the production of the famous series showing a single subject in different lighting conditions, including poplars, haystacks, Rouen Cathedral, and his own garden at Giverny.
  • Acquisition Credit: Bequeathed by Mrs M.S. Walzer as part of the Richard and Sophie Walzer Bequest, 1979

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