European Art: 19th Century

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The Artist's Garden at Vétheuil, 1881

Claude Monet

French, 1840-1926
Oil on canvas
39-1/2 x 32 in. (100.3 x 81.3 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1975.09.P
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

The years Monet spent at a rented pink house in Vétheuil were among the most difficult of his life. The market for his work had collapsed; his wife fell ill and died; his servants all quit. And yet the pictures Monet painted there, in his lush, sunny garden, conceived as an outdoor studio, are among the most exuberant of his career. This view of a path shaded by sunflowers and dotted with nasturtiums likely served as a preparatory sketch for a larger canvas today in the National Gallery of Art. Less rigorously finished than the subsequent picture, this one retains the freedom and spontaneity of a work painted quickly outdoors.

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