In 1925, when painting the ceiling of the Dutuit staircase dome at the musée du Petit Palais in Paris, Maurice Denis created a visual history of French art and granted Claude Monet an important place among the major figures of Impressionism. He features alongside Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, Auguste Renoir, and Paul Cézanne.
Maurice Denis visited Claude Monet three times at Giverny, on February 17, 1924, November 16, 1924, and lastly on July 5, 1925. On these occasions, as was his habit, the artist produced several life sketches, including the remarkable Portrait of Monet in Giverny during his second visit. The notes in his journal attest to the admiration Maurice Denis held for the master of Impressionism, in particular for the painter's last great work: "A beautiful day at Claude Monet's, in Xavier [de Lacroix]'s car. Domi, Miss Baudot and Edmond Renoir. Astonishing series of great water lilies. This little man of eighty-four years pulling the cords of his blinds, pushing his easels. "You would not have done that at twenty years old. – Not even twenty years ago." And he can only see through one eye with glasses, the other is obscured. And his tones are truer and more accurate than ever." (Maurice Denis, Journal, volume III, (1921–1943), Paris, Éditions du Vieux Colombier, 1959, p. 40)

Vanessa Lecomte


  • Title: Portrait of Monet in Giverny
  • Creator: Maurice Denis
  • Date Created: 1924
  • Location: Giverny, musée des impressionnismes, don Claire Denis, 2012, MDIG 2012.2.1
  • Physical Dimensions: 17 x 9.5 cm
  • Rights: © Giverny, musée des impressionnismes / Photo : Jean-Charles Louiset
  • Medium: Pencil and ink on paper

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