Claude Monet Paintings 1873-1878

Claude Monet painted The Poppy Field, near Argenteuil in 1873. See more pictures of Monet paintings.

Claude Monet was only one of the loose-association artists who called themselves the Societe Anonyme, but his innovative work dominated all discussions about the unorthodox exhibition. His seascape gave the group its name, and his approach -- daring to capture the transitory effect of an instant rather than portraying the topographical features of a stable view -- redefined the objectives of landscape painting.

In the years that followed, Monet participated in five of the eight Impressionist exhibitions, and, more than any other member of the circle, he established Impressionism as a revolutionary -- and ultimately triumphant -- force in contemporary art. Over the years, the works Monet selected to present at the Impressionist exhibitions proved to be flash points in the reception of the group's experimental endeavors.

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Monet Image Gallery

His own point of view remained unassailably modern. To capture the energetic spirit of Paris, Monet had positioned his easel at a high window overlooking the street. Writing about Boulevard des Capucines (1873-74), the critic Jules Castagnary proposed, half in jest, that to see the painting properly, he would have had to view the painting through the windows of the house across the street.

Along with the urban street scene, Monet asserted his modernism by accepting without judgment the visual contradictions of contemporary life, such as the incursion of a massive new road bridge in his tranquil view over the Seine in Bridge at Argenteuil (1874; shown in the second Impressionist exhibition, 1876).

Monet continued to paint figures in the open air, as seen in Woman with a Parasol -- Madame Monet and Her Son (1875; shown in the second Impressionist exhibition, 1876). The portrait of Camille and Jean on a hill against a pale blue sky captures a breeze buoying Camille's parasol and blowing the thin fabric of her veil across her face. With their indistinct features, the figures appear anonymous; the sudden summer wind rather than the sitters is the focus of attention.

Monet ended his association with the Impressionists when he declined to enter his work in the last exhibition in 1886. But his reputation endured as the leader of a daring development in the arts, and most critics came to agree that Monet stood out among the Impressionist painters.

Learn about Boulevard des Capucines, a bustling street scene, in the next section.

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Boulevard des Capucines by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's Boulevard des Capucines  (31-5/8x23-3/4 inches) is an oil on canvas housed  Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri
Claude Monet's Boulevard des Capucines (31-5/8x23-3/4 inches) is an oil on canvas housed  Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri

Claude Monet worked on Boulevard des Capucines during 1873-1874. The first Impressionist exhibition was held in French photographer Felix Tournachon's (known as Nadar) studio on Boulevard des Capucines. Monet takes a high point of view, as if looking down from an apartment balcony as the crowds rush through the chilled air.

The painting presented a genuine glimpse of Parisian life on a winter day, and the critic Ernest Chesneau claimed that Monet captured the elusive quality of movement with unprecedented skill.

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Learn about Monet's The Luncheon, Monet's Garden at Argenteuil, a picnic scene, in the next section.

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The Luncheon, Monet's Garden at Argenteuil by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's The Luncheon, Monet's Garden at Argenteuil (63-3/4x79-7/8 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
Claude Monet's The Luncheon, Monet's Garden at Argenteuil (63-3/4x79-7/8 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

Claude Monet painted The Luncheon, Monet's Garden at Argenteuil in 1873. The Luncheon presents the comfortable informality of Monet's life in Argenteuil during the months of high summer. With the meal concluded, Camille takes a visitor on a stroll through the garden while Jean plays with his blocks in the shadow cast by the table.

Monet re-creates the most pleasant sensations of a sunny afternoon -- the vivid flowers, the cool patches of shade, the breezy fabrics of summer gowns -- with lightly applied dabs of color.Go to the next page to learn about Monet's Autumn in Argenteuil, a shimmering landscape painting.

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Autumn in Argenteuil by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's Autumn in Argenteuil (22x29-1/2 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Courtauld Institute Gallery in London
Claude Monet's Autumn in Argenteuil (22x29-1/2 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Courtauld Institute Gallery in London

Claude Monet painted Autumn in Argenteuil in 1873. The crisp color of the leaves of the trees that flank the banks of the Seine gave Monet the subject for this painting.

Throughout his career, Monet held an enduring fascination with the cycle of the seasons, and he sought to capture the natural changes of color, atmosphere, and light. Each change brought a new subject, such as here, where the flame-hued trees cast their image in a reflection on the water, an effect only seen in autumn.

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On the next page, discover The Poppy Field, near Argenteuil, another of Monet's stunning landscape paintings.

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The Poppy Field, near Argenteuil by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's The Poppy Field, near Argenteuil
Claude Monet's The Poppy Field, near Argenteuil

Claude Monet painted The Poppy Field, near Argenteuil in 1873. Painted in the wildflower fields outside Argenteuil, this painting reveals Monet's passion for color. With dabs of red, he scatters the blooms in a natural profusion across the lush green fields.

In the foreground, he sketches in the figures of Camille and Jean with simple strokes of violet, black, and white. Their figures appear again at the top of the hills in the distance, more a suggestion of color than an accurate record of their appearance.

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Go to the next page to see another of Monet's works, The Train in the Snow.

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The Train in the Snow by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee Marmottan in Paris.
Claude Monet's inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee Marmottan in Paris.

Claude Monet painted The Train in the Snow in 1875. Although this work was not shown in an Impressionist exhibition, it reveals Monet's attraction to the convergence of nature and technology, a characteristic of the modern age that intrigued most of the artists of the circle.

To Monet, the train -- with its speed and the smoke it expelled into the atmosphere -- produced the qualities of constant visual change that drove artistic observations. This scene was painted in the railway station in Argenteuil, directly opposite Monet's home.

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Continue to the next page to learn about Unloading Coal, another of Monet's urban scenes.

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Unloading Coal by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's Unloading Coal (21-5/8x26 inches) is
Claude Monet's Unloading Coal (21-5/8x26 inches) is

Claude Monet painted Unloading Coal in 1875. In this view of the Clichy dock, the silhouetted forms of the porters, making their way across the narrow ramps with their heavy loads, punctuate the sweep of the river from the foreground of the composition into the deep distance.

Framed at the top of the composition with the broad arch of the Clichy Bridge, the painting is suffused with a warm, pale gold light. This work was one of 29 works Monet presented in the fourth Impressionist exhibition.

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On the next page, take a look at An Apartment Corner, one of Monet's rare interior scenes.

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An Apartment Corner by Claude Monet

Claude Monet painted An Apartment Corner in 1875. Monet's dedication to plein air painting made interior scenes increasingly rare in his work. This setting is his second house in Argenteuil.

Claude Monet painted An Apartment Corner in 1875. Monet's dedication to plein air painting made interior scenes increasingly rare in his work. This setting is his second house in Argenteuil.

Monet positioned his easel on the veranda to portray Jean in the center of the room. The boy's form is nearly reduced to silhouette by the sunlight flooding the room. Camille may be glimpsed in the shadows seated at a table in the left background. The blue and white urns from Holland flank the doorway.

Go to the next page to learn about Monet's Woman with a Parasol -- Madame Monet and Her Son, another glimpse of Camille and Jean Monet.

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Woman with a Parasol -- Madame Monet and Her Son by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's Woman with a Parasol -- Madame
Claude Monet's Woman with a Parasol -- Madame

Claude Monet painted Woman with a Parasol -- Madame Monet and Her Son in 1875. Standing on a gentle hill with the wind whipping her voluminous skirts around her legs, Camille presides over this vision of summer. Jean is at her side, but color and movement are the true subjects of this painting.

Tints of pink and yellow make Camille's white dress shimmer, and shades of violet and brown lurk in the shadows that her figure casts upon the lush green ground. The buoyancy of her parasol and swaying wildflowers express the motion of the wind.

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Continue to the next page for a look at Monet's The Tuileries, a formal garden scene.

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The Tuileries by Claude Monet

Claude Monet painted The Tuileries in 1876. Monet painted this vista of the formal garden in the center of Paris from a position high in a building on the rue de Rivoli. Victor Chocquet, an early advocate of Impressionism, had a residence there. In a vast panorama, stretching from the manicured grounds of the public park out to the boundaries of the city, Monet followed the subtle changes of light, from the glowing sun in the foreground to the cool mist in the distance.

On the next page, learn about Monet's Corner of the Garden at Montgeron, another garden scene.

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Corner of the Garden at Montgeron by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's Corner of the Garden at Montgeron
Claude Monet's Corner of the Garden at Montgeron

Claude Monet painted Corner of the Garden at Montgeron in 1876. Department store magnate Ernest Hoschede commissioned Monet to paint four decorative panels for the interior of his grand new home, Chateau de Rottembourg at Montgeron.

Monet spent the summer there, finding motifs on the beautifully landscaped grounds and painting outdoors with bright spots of color in a wide range of tone. Despite his newly made fortune in department store speculation, Hoschede quickly fell into financial difficulty and was unable to pay for the paintings.

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Continue to the next page to learn about Monet's Turkeys, a whimsical wildlife painting.

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Turkeys by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's Turkeys (67-3/4x68-7/8 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
Claude Monet's Turkeys (67-3/4x68-7/8 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

Claude Monet painted Turkeys in 1876. Monet painted a flock of turkeys on the lawn of his patron Hoschede's estate in Montgeron. Planned as a decorative panel, Turkeys marked the rare introduction of animals into Monet's natural setting.

When the work was shown in the third Impressionist exhibition, the critical response was mixed. One critic urged the viewer to think of how well it would look in a lavishly furnished dining room, while others disparaged Monet's choice of subject as ridiculous.

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On the next page, learn about Monet's The Hunt, painted on the grounds of Chateau de Rottembourg.

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The Hunt by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's The Hunt (68-1/8x55-1/4 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris.
Claude Monet's The Hunt (68-1/8x55-1/4 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris.

Claude Monet painted The Hunt in 1876. Painted on the grounds of Chateau de Rottembourg, Monet included a portrait of Hoschede in a group of hunters moving along a path in the woods.

Ranging from dry tints such as golden ocher to warm ones such as russet orange and vivid scarlet, Monet used his palette to explore the visual spectrum of autumn. Color rather than the identity of the hunters or the result of their hunt engaged his imagination.

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On the next page, learn about La Gare Saint-Lazare. Les signaux, a look at the Saint-Lazare train station.

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La Gare Saint-Lazare. Les signaux by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's La Gare Saint-Lazare. Les signaux                              (25-5/8x32-1/8 inches) is an oil on canvas housed                                            at the Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum                                            in Hannover, Germany.
Claude Monet's La Gare Saint-Lazare. Les signaux (25-5/8x32-1/8 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum in Hannover, Germany.

Claude Monet painted La Gare Saint-Lazare. Les signaux in 1877. Monet rented a small apartment in Paris to have ready access to the Saint-Lazare train station, where he planned to set up his easel on the platforms and the adjacent streets as the trains pulled in and out.

The thick air that surrounded the station made a striking contrast to the clarity of the country atmosphere in which he usually worked. To Monet, the smoky fog was the source of magnificent color variation, but one critic complained that the pink and purple smoke transformed the scene into an illegible scrawl.

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Continue to the next page to learn about Monet's La Gare Saint-Lazare, another look at the train station.

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La Gare Saint-Lazare by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's La Gare Saint-Lazare (29-1/2x39-3/8
Claude Monet's La Gare Saint-Lazare (29-1/2x39-3/8

Claude Monet painted La Gare Saint-Lazare in 1877. The crush of people and the arrival and departure of the trains posed a challenge to Monet's powers of observation, forcing him to work quickly and retain the sensations of light, steam, and motion in his memory.

The subtle and often spectacular effects of color that emerged as the sun filtered through the glass canopy over the tracks revealed to Monet that light was a subject with infinite variations.

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See Monet's celebratory Rue Montorgueil in Paris, Festival of 30 June 1878 in the final section.

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Rue Montorgueil in Paris, Festival of 30 June 1878 by Claude Monet

Claude Monet's Rue Montorgueil in Paris, Festival of 30 June 1878 (31-1/2x19-1/8 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.
Claude Monet's Rue Montorgueil in Paris, Festival of 30 June 1878 (31-1/2x19-1/8 inches) is an oil on canvas housed at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

Claude Monet painted Rue Montorgueil in Paris, Festival of 30 June 1878 in 1878. To celebrate the opening of the International exhibition, some of the main streets of Paris were decked with flags.

Emblematic colors guided Monet's palette, and he painted with short, dense brush strokes to suggest the motion of the flags fluttering aloft and the press of the crowd moving below. Viewed at close range, the composition dissolves into patches of color, but, at a distance, the festive street scene gains clear focus.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Debra N. Mancoff is an art historian and lecturer and the author of numerous books on nineteenth-century European and American painting, including Publication International, Ltd.'s, Impressionism and Van Gogh. Other titles include Sunflowers, Monet's Garden in Art, Van Gogh: Fields and Flowers, and Mary Cassatt: Reflections of Women's Lives. Ms. Mancoff is a scholar in residence at the Newberry Library.