Monday, November 16, 2009

The Monet familly in their garden of Argenteuil

Claude Monet lived from hand t0 mouth until he was nearly fifty but for a brief period of prosperity in his early thirties, likely engendered by an inheritance from his father. He and his wife Camille and their son Jean moved to a house with a good garden in Argenteuil, just outside Paris. One lovely afternoon he invited his friend Edouard Manet who impulsively painted the happy family, as seen in this lovely painting now in the Metropolitan Museum.

In 1924, Monet recalled: "During the sitting, Renoir arrived. . . . He asked me for palette, brush and canvas, and there he was, painting away alongside Manet. The latter was watching him out of the corner of his eye. . . . Then he made a face, passed discreetly near me, and whispered in my ear about Renoir: 'He has no talent, that boy! Since you are his friend, tell him to give up painting!'"

Renoir and Manet both gave their pictures to Monet.

Some of this information is from the web site of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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