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Camille à l'ombrelle verte

About the item

Camille à l'ombrelle verte is a charming depiction of Monet's wife strolling through the garden of their family home in Argenteuil. Monet and his family moved to Argenteuil, a suburb near Paris, in 1871, and lived there for the following six years. Painted in 1876, the year of the second Impressionist exhibition, this work is not only a fine example of Monet's early Impressionist technique, but also provides insight into the artist's personal life. Camille Doncieux became Monet's partner in 1866; much to the disapproval of their families, the two lived together for the following four years, and finally married in 1870. Camille, who was to die of tuberculosis in September 1879, was 29 at the time Monet painted the present work. She provided a constant source of inspiration for the artist, who often painted her in moments of leisure, sometimes with their son Jean (fig. 1).\n\nThis beautifully rendered, full-length portrayal of Camille belongs to a group of works dating from August 1876 (figs. 2 & 3), painted in the garden of Monet's second house at Argenteuil, where he and his family lived from October 1874 until early 1878. As Paul Hayes Tucker noted, during the summer months Monet 'painted almost nothing but idyllic garden pictures ... retreats into the untrammeled past' and was preoccupied with 'pastoral scenes of idyllic reverie' (P. H. Tucker, Claude Monet: Life and Art, New Haven & London, 1995, pp. 90 & 92). As John Rewald observed, 'no single place could be identified more closely with Impressionism than Argenteuil' (J. Rewald, The History of Impressionism, New York, 1973, p. 341), and some of Monet's best early paintings were executed in this region, inspired by its unspoiled nature. Renoir, who lived in Paris, frequently joined Monet at Argenteuil where the two artists painted together.\n\nIn the 1870s, Argenteuil was becoming one of the fastest growing regions in the vicinity of Paris, combining lush nature surrounding the river Seine with signs of modernisation and industrialisation. With the advance of the steamboat and railway, the Argenteuil path along the Seine became a popular promenade, rather than a commercial route it had been in the past, and this area was usually busy with the bateaux-lavoirs and people strolling along the river. Writing about Monet's years at Argenteuil, Paul Hayes Tucker commented: 'When Monet came to Argenteuil in 1871 he was seeking greater contact with nature for the sake of his new family and of his art. The Paris he left behind had received during the Second Empire acres of new parks and thousands of new trees thanks to Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann. But during the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune, much of the Bois de Boulogne and many of the trees along the new boulevards were burned or chopped down. When Monet left he was escaping the city for greener pastures, just as thousands of others were who had moved to the suburbs before him' (P. H. Tucker, op. cit., 1982, p. 127).\n\nUnlike other works from the group, which depict Camille in the distance, often reading or walking, dominated by nature, in the present painting the artist divided his attention equally between the figure and her surroundings. Camille occupies the centre of the composition, walking down a sunlit path, having just emerged from a shadow under the trees and plants. Her dress and hat are painted in brushstrokes of brilliant pink, purple and yellow pigment, reflecting the strong sunshine of a summer day, while the right side of the composition is dominated by colourful flowers painted in quick dabs of red, blue and green. Holding a bouquet of flowers, which she had probably just picked, in one hand, and a bright green parasol in the other, Camille stands in sharp contrast with the shadowy part of the garden behind her. The lush, rich treatment of the garden with its flowerbeds, trees and the path demonstrates the delight Monet took in painting nature, drenched in light and shimmering with colour, and reflects the development of his style during a critical period of Impressionism.\nSigned Cl. Monet (lower left)


Oil on canvas


Claude Monet


81 by 60cm.


Paris, Durand-Ruel, Claude Monet de 1865 à 1888, 1935, no. 24 New York, Wildenstein & Co., One Hundred Years of Impressionism, 1970, no. 32, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Madame Monet dans son jardin)


Charles Léger, Claude Monet, Paris, 1930, mentioned p. 11 Oscar Reuterswärd, Monet, Stockholm, 1948, illustrated p. 95 Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet. Biographie et catalogue raisonné, Lausanne & Paris, 1974, vol. I, no. 413, illustrated p. 293 Paul Hayes Tucker, Monet at Argenteuil, New Haven & London, 1982, no. 138, illustrated p. 171 Daniel Wildenstein, Monet. Catalogue Raisonné, Cologne, 1996, no. 413, illustrated p. 168 Monet und Camille. Frauenportraits im Impressionismus (exhibition catalogue), Kunsthalle, Bremen, 2005-06, illustrated pp. 40 & 261


Gustave Cahen, France (sale: Georges Petit, Paris, Vente Gustave Cahen, 24th May 1929, lot 69) Alfred Lindon, Paris (probably purchased at the above sale) Seized from the above by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg für die Besetzten Gebiete, Paris on 5th December 1940 Reichsmarschal Hermann Göring (acquired from the above on 25th November 1942) Restituted by the French Government to Jacques Lindon, Alfred Lindon's son, on 3rd December 1946 Jacques Lindon, New York Mr & Mrs Lawrence Rockefeller, USA (acquired from the above in the 1950s) Wildenstein & Co., New York Private Collection, New York Acquired from the above by the present owner


Signed Cl. Monet (lower left)


Painted in 1876.


1840 - 1926

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.

*Note: The price is not recalculated to the current value. It refers to the actual final price at the time the item was sold.


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