Claude Monet (1840–1926)
Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat, 1874
Oil on canvas, 55 x 65 cm
Monet painted this autumnal scene at Argenteuil, a developing industrial town on the outskirts of Paris, where he lived from 1871-78. In 1872 he customised a boat as a floating studio and painted many views of Argenteuil, the Seine and the surrounding countryside from it. By immersing himself in nature in this way, Monet could closely observe the fleeting effects of light upon land and water. In this picture, he has used bold strokes of complementary colour to great effect; orange leaves are reflected on the fragmented blue surface of the water, and a town can be glimpsed on the horizon. Light and colour were Monet’s chief interests.
About the artist
Monet was the key figure responsible for the development of Impressionism. The name of this style of art was derived from his work Impression, Sunrise (1873; Paris, Museum Marmottan). Monet was consistent in his determination to capture the ephemeral qualities of nature on canvas. In the 1890s he created his ‘series’ paintings, which involved painting a particular view at different times of the day and recording how its appearance changed under varying atmospheric conditions. Monet exhibited at five of the Impressionist exhibitions.
Find out more about Monet's painting technique and the materials he used.