In the summer of 1873, the young Claude Monet and Renoir had a close working relationship, and Renoir was staying at his fellow artist’s rented home in the village of Argenteuil, not far from Paris. Adhering to the principles of Impressionism, they both painted out of doors, and as the dahlias were in full bloom, the garden was a prime subject. Monet, who had a life-long devotion to floral subjects, is portrayed here by his friend hard at work painting the flowers in his neighbor’s yard. The carefully posed artist stands confronting his canvas on the easel; one brush is in his right hand while in his left he cradles his palette and other brushes. Under the easel is his box of paints and an umbrella. The haste with which these artists worked is evidenced by the fact that this composition, as revealed in an X-ray, is painted over an earlier one of a portrait of Monet’s wife, Camille, but the question as to whether that portrait was by Monet or Renoir remains unanswered.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841-1919)
Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil, 1873
Oil on canvas, 18.375 x 23.5 in.
Bequest of Anne Parrish Titzell, 1957.614
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT