Claude Monet lisant
toile (peinture à l’huile) H. 61,7 cm ; l. 50 cm (sans cadre) ; H. 81 cm ; l. 70 cm ; E. 8 cm ; VOLUM. 0,0454 (avec cadre)
Signé en bas à droite : A. Renoir
legs Monet Michel (testateur) (1966 acquis)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was the artist who most often painted Claude Monet and his wife Camille Doncieux. The ten or so portraits he made of the couple all date from the years of their close friendship when Renoir often stayed at Argenteuil, the Monet family home, from 1871 to 1877. The two half-length portraits at the Musée Marmottan Monet are among the oldest of these representations and are generally dated to around 1873. The sitters stand out against neutral grounds. Their poses are studied. Monet is seen in half-profile, leaning on a chair whose openwork back can be seen at bottom left. He is reading the newspaper L’Événement and smoking his pipe. Camille, whose facial expression hints at a smile, wears an elegant formal dress and seems to be turning toward her husband. Although conceived separately, these two canvases, which have the same dimensions and whose models face each other, seem to form a pair. Indeed, for a while they were kept together in a single frame, underscoring their possible relation as pendants. These paintings, which Renoir gave to Monet, are both “family portraits” and an important phase in the Impressionist collection assembled by the master of Giverny.