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Snow Scene at Argenteuil

Claude Monet1875

The National Gallery, London

The National Gallery, London

Monet spent most of the 1870s in the town of Argenteuil, which is on the Seine just to the north-west of Paris. During this period, leisure activities such as boating made the town increasingly popular with day-trippers from the capital. The exceptionally snowy winter of 1874-5 inspired Monet to paint 18 views of Argenteuil under the snow. Many of them, like this work, focus on the boulevard Saint-Denis where Monet was living.

The scene shows the boulevard running towards the Seine, looking away from the railway station. It is a relatively large work, which sacrifices details in favour of atmosphere. Its predominantly monochrome palette of blues and greys conveys to perfection the bleakness of an overcast winter's afternoon.

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Details

  • Title: Snow Scene at Argenteuil
  • Creator: Claude Monet
  • Date Created: 1875
  • Physical Dimensions: 71.1 x 91.4 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • School: French
  • Inventory number: NG6607
  • 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 Simon Sainsbury, 2006

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