In 1876, Monet made no less than ten paintings of his rented house and garden at Argenteuil. This canvas may be among the ones he painted in June, when he was working on "a series of rather interesting new things." Madame Monet seems incidental in comparison to the impressive stand of hollyhocks in the middle of the composition. Flickering brushstrokes of brightly colored paint make the canvas appear to pulsate with light.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Claude Monet
Private collection (in 1963; probably consigned through Durand-Ruel in August to Wildenstein; sold September 16 to Annenberg; Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (1963–2000; jointly with MMA, 2000–his d. 2002)
London. Tate Gallery. "The Annenberg Collection," September 2–October 8, 1969, no. 21 (as "Camille Monet dans le jardin, Argenteuil").
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 21–September 17, 1989, unnumbered cat. (as "Camille Monet in the Garden at the House in Argenteuil").
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT, BY TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION BY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
Luigina Rossi Bortolatto. L'opera completa di Claude Monet, 1870–1889. Milan, 1966, pp. 96–97, no. 123, ill., dates it in the second half of 1875.
Daniel Wildenstein. Monet, Impressions. Lausanne, 1967, ill. p. 23 (color), dates it 1875–77.
M. Roy Fisher. The Annenberg Collection. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1969, unpaginated, no. 21, ill. (color), dates it 1876; notes that Monet and his family lived in the house depicted in the background from October 1874 to early 1878, adding that Renoir and Manet worked together in the garden.
Gerald Needham. "The Paintings of Claude Monet, 1859–1878." PhD diss., New York University, 1971, pp. 251–52, discusses the prominence of the figure and the brillance of color, observing that the use of blue hues for the white dress was considered astonishing by contemporary critics.
Daniel Wildenstein. Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné. Vol. 1, 1840–1881: Peintures. Lausanne, 1974, pp. 292–93, no. 410, ill., dates it 1876; notes that it depicts Monet's second house in Argenteuil.
Claire Joyes. Monet at Giverny. London, 1975, ill. p. 46 (color).
Robert Gordon and Andrew Forge. Monet. New York, 1983, ill. p. 200 (color).
Shunsuke Kijima. Monet. Tokyo, 1985, fig. 17 (color).
Jack Flam. "In a Different Light." Art News 88 (Summer 1989), pp. 113, 116, ill. pp. 3, 112 (color, overall and detail).
Colin B. Bailey inMasterpieces of Impressionism & Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Colin B. Bailey, Joseph J. Rishel, and Mark Rosenthal. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. 54–55, 164–65, ill. (color and black and white), calls it "Camille Monet in the Garden at the House in Argenteuil" and dates it summer, possibly June, 1876; reconstructs a drawing of the circular garden based on this and other paintings of it and identifies the plants, calling them both "manicured and lush, domestic and savage"; comments that Camille appears diminished by the house and the huge plants, and subordinate to the hollyhocks; sees the garden as yet another manifestation of Monet's "bourgeois aspirations, his search for comfort and respectability" and notes that it still stands at 21, boulevard Karl Marx.
Gary Tinterow. "Miracle au Met." Connaissance des arts no. 472 (June 1991), p. 36, compares it to Renoir's "Nini in the Garden" (MMA 2002.62.2).
Jérôme Coignard. "Le Salon de peinture de Mr. et Mrs. Annenberg." Beaux arts no. 92 (July–August 1991), pp. 66–67, 69, ill. (color).
Virginia Spate. Claude Monet: Life and Work. New York, 1992, p. 119, suggests that it and some other pictures of Camille in the Argenteuil garden depict signs of weakness that indicate the beginning of her illness.
Marianne Alphant. Claude Monet: Une vie dans le paysage. [Paris], 1993, p. 256.
Paul Hayes Tucker. "Passion and Patriotism in Monet's Late Work." Monet: Late Paintings of Giverny from the Musée Marmottan. Exh. cat.San Francisco, 1994, p. 30, fig. 2 (color), dates it 1876 and cites it as an example of Monet's "horticultural fervor".
Paul Hayes Tucker. Claude Monet: Life and Art. New Haven, 1995, pp. 177–78, colorpl. 202.
Albert Kostenevich. Hidden Treasures Revealed: Impressionist Masterpieces and Other Important French Paintings Preserved by the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Exh. cat.New York, 1995, pp. 144–45, ill.
Daniel Wildenstein. Monet. Vol. 2, Catalogue raisonné–Werkverzeichnis: Nos. 1–968. 2nd ed. Cologne, 1996, p. 168, no. 410, ill. (color).
Daniel Wildenstein. Monet or the Triumph of Impressionism. Vol. 1, 2nd ed. Cologne, 1996, p. 117.
Gary Tinterow in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1999–2000." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 58 (Fall 2000), pp. 5, 44–45, ill. (color), calls the figure of Camille little more than an accessory to the mass of hollyhocks; observes that in the summer of 1874 Monet rented this house when it was under construction, and that "hollyhocks planted at the end of that summer would not bloom in force until June or July 1876".
Impressionist and Modern Art, Part One. Sotheby's, New York. May 8, 2002, pp. 58–59, fig. 3 (color).
Catherine Hug Monika Leonhardt inMonet's Garden. Exh. cat., Kunsthaus Zürich. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany, 2004, p. 155 n. 28.
Dorothee Hansen inMonet und "Camille": Frauenportraits im Impressionismus. Ed. Dorothee Hansen and Wulf Herzogenrath. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Bremen. Munich, 2005, p. 34, ill. p. 39 (color).
Doris Kutschbach. Living Monet: The Artist's Gardens. Munich, 2006, pp. 24–25, ill. (color), comments that Camille appears ill.
Richard Thomson inTurner e gli impressionisti: La grande storia del paesaggio moderno in Europa. Ed. Marco Goldin. Exh. cat., Museo di Santa Giulia, Brescia. Treviso, 2006, pp. 258, 261 n. 23, suggests that it, along with "The Garden of Monet's House at Argenteuil" (present location unknown; W408), and "Undergrowth in Argenteuil" (private collection; W409) constitute an informal decorative triptych.
Eric M. Zafran inClaude Monet (1840–1926): A Tribute to Daniel Wildenstein and Katia Granoff. Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 2007, p. 130.
Colin B. Bailey inMasterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein and Asher Ethan Miller. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 74–78, no. 15, ill. (color).
The house, Pavillon Flament at Argenteuil, into which Monet and his family moved in June 1874 had a large circular garden which provided subject matter for seven of his paintings in 1875 and ten the following year, his most important motif in those years.