About the Artist
Claude Monet (1840-1926) went to Paris in 1862 to study painting and there befriended fellow students Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille, who would later form the core group of the original impressionists. By the end of the 1860s Monet had largely abandoned ambitious, large-scale figurative painting in favor of smaller, spontaneous landscape works executed en plein air.
Monet fled to London during the Franco-Prussian War, and in late 1871 settled at Argenteuil, a suburb just west of Paris that maintained its rustic charm even as it underwent rapid modernization. From 1872 to 1876 Argenteuil became the hub of what would soon be known as impressionist painting. Financial difficulties forced Monet to relocate to Vétheuil in 1878, and a few years later, in 1883, he settled in Giverny, where he would live for the rest of his life.
Most of Monet’s paintings from the 1870s depict the landscape in and around the small towns along the Seine. Executed outdoors, he employed seemingly spontaneous brushstrokes to capture the ever-changing effects of light and atmosphere. In the 1880s Monet expanded his motifs, turning his attention both to the Mediterranean and to the rugged vistas along the Normandy coast. In the 1890s he undertook a number of paintings produced in series, including pictures of poplars, grainstacks, and Rouen Cathedral; each work captured a specific atmospheric effect and time of day. With his reputation as France’s leading landscape painter established and his financial situation secure, the artist turned his attention to the lavish gardens he had constructed at Giverny, eventually creating more than 250 works focused on water lilies.
This print of Claude Monet's Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son (1875) is part of our Masterworks collection of reproductions, specially created using the Gallery's finest quality digital imaging.
Impressionism evolved in the late 1860s from a desire to create full–scale, multi–figure depictions of ordinary people in casual outdoor situations. At its purest, impressionism was attuned to landscape painting, a subject Monet favored. In Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son, his skill as a figure painter is equally evident. Contrary to the artificial conventions of academic portraiture, Monet delineated the features of his sitters as freely as their surroundings.
Woman with a Parasol was painted outdoors, probably in a single session of several hours' duration. The artist intended the work to convey the feeling of a casual family outing rather than a formal portrait, and used pose and placement to suggest that his wife and son interrupted their stroll while he captured their likenesses. The brevity of the moment portrayed here is conveyed by a repertory of animated brushstrokes of vibrant color, hallmarks of the style Monet was instrumental in forming. Bright sunlight shines from behind Camille to whiten the top of her parasol and the flowing cloth at her back, while colored reflections from the wildflowers below touch her front with yellow.
- 9.88 x 7.38 inches (print), 11 x 14 inches (matted)
- Matted, ready to frame
- Archival, premium matte paper (acid-free, lignin-free)
- Archival pigment inks