3.9.15

Monet in Paris


There is of course a lot to be said about Claude Monet (1840-1926) and his long career, but here I would like to concentrate on his “Paris production”. Actually, he hardly had any of his own and or long-lasting addresses in Paris, although he was quite present – and active – especially during the years when the impressionist movement got started. (I wrote about this several times, see perhaps especially here.) Monet was actually born in Paris at rue Laffitte (later, during decades, to become an art gallery street), but moved with his family to Le Havre at the age of five.

Monet came to Paris now and then during his youth, studied art… Where did he stay?

The only Paris addresses I have found are actually when he, after two years in Algeria as a soldier, during the mid-1860’s stayed with his painter friend Camille Bazille (1841-70), (who had money) in a studio, rue de Furstenberg in the Saint-Germain-des Prés area. Here are some paintings by Camille Bazille, one from the Furstenberg studio, one of Monet lying in a bed with an injured leg (1865) and the more famous one (1870) from Bazille’s studio Rue Condamine, where we also can see Renoir, Manet, Zola… and Monet observing the ongoing painting work. Bazille died soon after, thus in 1870, during the French-Prussian war. (You can see the same armchair in the two studio paintings.)

A second Paris address was when Monet stayed with another friend, the photographer Nadar (1820-1910), boulevard des Capucines, obviously around 1873. The building is still there, heavily modified. This is also where the first impressionist exhibition was held in 1874. Monet made two paintings from there.

In the meantime he had met his first wife Camille, had a first child in 1867 and got married in 1870. Camille had already died by 1879.  They lived under poor conditions in the Paris neighbourhood. Monet then met Alice, started to get relatively wealthy, and later married her in 1892. They had then already found Giverny (see previous post). 

So, which paintings do we have by Monet from Paris, apart from the two from Boulevard des Capucines?

Here is one from 1867 overlooking the Seine and part of the Cité-island with the Pantheon in the background. He must have stood on the south-east corner of the Louvre, but higher up than I managed to do. Maybe not yet that "impressionist"?

The same year he painted the Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois church, obviously standing at the Louvre main entrance.

In 1871 he painted the Pont-Neuf-bridge. (Renoir obviously stood at the same place a year later.)

Part of the Tuileries Gardens were painted in 1876. He must have made it from the top of one of the Rue de Rivoli buildings.

In 1877 – three years after the first impressionist exhibition - he made a large series from Gare-Saint-Lazare. (We know that he often did a multitude of paintings of the “same thing”, like the Rouen Cathedral under different light settings…).


He then even painted the close-by Pont de l’Europe. Difficult for me to find the same angle. The bridge railings have been modified since – see also how Caillebotte (see previous post) painted the bridge a year earlier.

Between 1876 and 1878 he made some paintings from Parc Monceau - difficult today to find exactly where. The trees are not the same or not of the same size…

In 1878 he illustrated the July 14th celebration at Rue Mouffetard.

Those are all the Paris paintings I have found.

At last – some portraits of Monet made by friends: Renoir (1872), Manet (1874), in the studio boat Monet used for painting alongside the Seine banks - here with his wife Camille, Singer Sargent (1889) and Nadar (1899)   – there are many more. 


13 comments:

Studio at the Farm said...

Wonderful post, Peter! I enjoyed seeing Monet's paintings and the places that inspired the works.
Kathryn

Cezar and Léia said...

Bonjour Peter!
Great article, it's really nice to read more about Monet and I like to compare the painting with picture, cool!
Hugs
Leia

Synne said...

The amount and quality of the art inspired by Paris never stops to amaze me. I didn't know that Monet painted the Monceau park, but I'm not surprised - it is so varied and pretty.
I hope you've had a great summer, Peter!

Ola said...

I have always admired his paintings!

Wanda said...

Merci Peter, your well researched posts make me more knowledgeable about this beautiful city.
What a wonderful title painting by Monet, excellent angle for an artist.

Jeanie said...

One of my favorite artists. I really appreciate the depth and research -- and I'll bet it was kind of fun to find the same spots for your photographs!

Susan Bauer said...

What a delightful post about Monet and his Paris paintings. Your extensive knowledge of both Monet and of Paris is well documented in this well researched and informative photo blogpost. Merci!

Harriet said...

Enjoyed this post. Thanks.

Anonymous said...


The two paintings of Bazille, at the Furstenberg studio and the one at Bazille's studio share two things.
In both paintings you can see the same chair and also the same "estufita"

In the painting at Bazille's studio, in that group of nice looking young men, I can see one that is extremely tall and another one playing the piano.
I was thinking that maybe the very tall one was Antonin Proust, Manet's sidekick since childhood.

Those paintings of the boulevards are so delicious...it makes me want to go back in time........
Fantastic post, M. Peter!
Mil gracias
Maria

Peter Olson said...

> Maria: The chair is clearly the same, for the stowe, I'm less convinced, there are some slight differences.
Many have tried to figure out who is represented on this Bazille painting. There are some question marks, but...
The tall man is Bazille himself, actually added and painted by Manet. Manet is the man with the hat and the man behind him is probably Monet. Bazille shared the studio with Renoir, who probably is the man on the stairs. It is supposed that the man sitting to the very left is Zola, who then lived on the other side of the street. The man playing the piano is Edmond Maître, a musician, but especially a friend of all kinds of painter artists, but also of Beaudelaire, Verlaine...

Anonymous said...


Thank you so much for all the information!
Now, thanks to you, to me, after knowing all the details, this most famous masterpiece finally makes sense...all of those masters of Impressionism gathered in such amiable atmosphere!
Mil gracias
Maria

claude said...

J'adore ta publication, Peter, J'aime Paris et Moment, alors quand Monet peint Paris......

Jill Colonna said...

Peter, I love your research on Monet here. What an informative post! And I can't believe that the building on boulevard des Capucines was where he stayed and where the first impressionist exhibition was held - thank for that! Especially as my husband worked in that building for a couple of years and I had no idea! (well, he said he worked there, lol)...
Great to discover your blog!