With Manet's assistance, Monet found lodging in suburban Argenteuil in late 1871, a move that initiated one of the most fertile phases of his career. Impressionism evolved in the late 1860s from a desire to create full–scale, multi–figure depictions of ordinary people in casual outdoor situations. At its purest, impressionism was attuned to landscape painting, a subject Monet favored. In _Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son_, his skill as a figure painter is equally evident. Contrary to the artificial conventions of academic portraiture, Monet delineated the features of his sitters as freely as their surroundings. The spontaneity and naturalness of the resulting image were praised when it appeared in the second impressionist exhibition in 1876.

_Woman with a Parasol_ was painted outdoors, probably in a single session of several hours' duration. The artist intended the work to convey the feeling of a casual family outing rather than a formal portrait, and used pose and placement to suggest that his wife and son interrupted their stroll while he captured their likenesses. The brevity of the moment portrayed here is conveyed by a repertory of animated brushstrokes of vibrant color, hallmarks of the style Monet was instrumental in forming. Bright sunlight shines from behind Camille to whiten the top of her parasol and the flowing cloth at her back, while colored reflections from the wildflowers below touch her front with yellow.


  • Title: Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son
  • Creator: Claude Monet
  • Date Created: 1875
  • Physical Dimensions: overall: 100 x 81 cm (39 3/8 x 31 7/8 in.) framed: 119.4 x 99.7 cm (47 x 39 1/4 in.)
  • Provenance: From the artist in 1876 to Dr. Georges de Bellio [1828-1894], Paris; by inheritance to M and Mme [she née Victorine de Bellio,1863-1958] Ernest Donop de Monchy, Paris, until at least 1897. Possibly (Paul Rosenberg and Co., London, New York, and Paris).[1] Georges Menier, Paris, by 1924;[2] (Menier sale, Palais Galliera, Paris, 15 June 1965, no. 121); purchased by (Hector Brame, Paris) for Paul Mellon [1907-1999], Upperville, VA; gift 1983 to NGA. [1] The painting is cited as no. 86 in an unpublished inventory of the de Bellio collection by Remus Niculescu, "Georges de Bellio, l'Ami des Impressionists (I)," _Paragone_ 247 (September 1970). See also the letter from Niculescu to Paul Mellon dated 12 April 1970, in NGA curatorial files. This could be the Monet "Femme au monticule" sold by Donop de Monchy to Paul Rosenberg on 16 April 1917 (Receipt, Paul Rosenberg Archives, Museum of Modern Art, New York, file 1.c.24b, copy in NGA curatorial files) [2] The painting was lent by Menier to the Première exposition de collectionneurs au profit de la Société des Amis du Luxembourg, Paris, in 1924.
  • Medium: oil on canvas

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps