Woman In The Garden
Eugène Boudin, a well-known painter of the region’s Channel shore resorts, introduced Monet to Plein-air painting. He studied landscape painting under Johan Jongkind (1819–1891). At twenty-two, Monet joined the Paris workshop of academic history painter Charles Gleyre. Monet’s early success was limited, with just a few landscapes, seascapes, and portraits accepted for the 1860s Salons. Because he was rejected for many of his most ambitious works, including Women in the Garden (1866; Musée d’Orsay, Paris), Monet organized his show in 1874 alongside Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Renoir, and Camille Pissarro. Monet looked for themes in his environment, painting familiar people and places. His landscapes reflect his escape from the Franco-Prussian War in 1870–71 to London. He returned to France in 1883.
Monet accepted and extended the Barbizon painters’ commitment to meticulous observation and accurate representation in the Fontainebleau Forest earlier in his career. To properly portray nature, he ignored European composition, color, and perspective rules in common practice among artists of that era. Monet’s asymmetrical groupings of figures eschewed linear perspective and three-dimensional modeling to emphasize their two-dimensional surfaces. A sequence of paintings (e.g., Haystacks , Poplars , and Rouen Cathedral ) dominated Monet’s output in the 1890s. Monet painted the same area in each series, capturing its changing appearance throughout the day. In 1892 and 1893, Monet rented a room facing the cathedral’s western façade, where he worked on many works at once. In 1894, he finished the canvases.
During the 1910s and 1920s, Monet devoted almost all of his time and energy to his magnificent water-lily pond at Giverny, France. His final series depicts the pond in mural-sized paintings with broad color strokes and meticulously built-up textures reminiscent of his earlier works. Shortly after he passed, Monet’s final water-lily series was showcased at the Orangerie in Paris in specially built galleries which were dedicated to him.