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La Grenouillère by Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir – their first Impressionist paintings

Grenouillère by Claude Monet

Bain à la Grenouillère by Claude Monet

La Grenouillère was painting by both Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet at the same time.

They depicted the small island planted with a single tree, linked by gangplanks to the Île de la Grenouillère and to the fashionable La Grenouillère floating restaurant and boat-hire at Croissy-sur-Seine near Bougival.

The famous floating café “La Grenouillère” is where Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir met at the end of the summer of 1869 to paint their first Impressionist paintings.

The two impoverished friends and artists sat side by side, in the early days of Impressionism at the same time to create their unique versions of La Grenouillère.

4 Paintings created side by side, at the same time by Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“La Grenouillère” by Claude Monet – Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

“La Grenouillère” by Claude Monet depicts “Flowerpot Island”, also known as the Camembert, and the gangplank to La Grenouillère, a floating restaurant and boat-hire on the Seine at Croissy-Sur-Seine.

He was accompanied by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who also painted the scene at the same time.

This Claude Monet sketch captures his experience of fleeting visual effects or impressions that changed from moment to moment. These sketches were an essential step towards Impressionism.

“La Grenouillère” by Claude Monet

  • Title:              Bain à la Grenouillère
  • Artist:            Claude Monet
  • Year:              1869
  • Medium:       Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:  29 3/8 x 39 1/4 in. (74.6 x 99.7 cm)
  • Museum:      Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

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“La Grenouillère” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

"La Grenouillère" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“La Grenouillère” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir –  Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

“La Grenouillère” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir depicts the La Grenouillère which was a popular middle-class resort consisting of a spa, a boating establishment, and a floating café.

Monet and Renoir both recognized in La Grenouillère an ideal subject for the images of leisure they hoped would sell.

“La Grenouillère” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

  • Title:                 La Grenouillère
  • Artist:               Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Year:                1869
  • Medium:          Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:     Height: 65.1 cm (25.6″); Width: 92 cm (36.2″)
  • Museum:          Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

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Bathers at La Grenouillère by Claude Monet

Bathers at La Grenouillère by Claude Monet

Bathers at La Grenouillère by Claude Monet

Bathers at La Grenouillère by Claude Monet was painted during the summer of 1869, Monet and Renoir painted together at La Grenouillère.

It was a resort on the river Seine some 12 kilometers west of Paris. It had become a popular weekend retreat from the city during the 1860s.

Monet made several oil sketches at the resort, including this picture, in preparation for a large painting of the site that he planned to exhibit.

Painted quickly these studies have a directness and immediacy, Monet was painting what he saw, without any attempt to compose a scene.

Monet concentrated on the repetitive elements, the ripples on the water, the foliage, the boats, the human figures to weave a fabric of brushstrokes that deliver a robust descriptive quality.

Bathers at La Grenouillère by Claude Monet

  • Title:              Bathers at La Grenouillère
  • Artist:            Claude Monet
  • Year:              1869
  • Medium:       Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:  Height: 73 cm (28.7″); Width: 92 cm (36.2″)
  • Museum:       National Gallery, London

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“La Grenouillère” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - La Grenouillère

“La Grenouillère” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“La Grenouillère” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir depicts the La Grenouillère resort promoted as “Trouville-sur-Seine”, it was located on the Seine near Bougival, easily accessible by train from Paris and had just been favored with a visit by Emperor Napoleon III with his wife and son.

“La Grenouillère” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

  • Title:                 La Grenouillère
  • Artist:               Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Year:                1869
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:    Height: 65.1 cm (25.6″); Width: 92 cm (36.2″)
  • Museum:         Oskar Reinhart Collection, ‘Am Römerholz,’ Winterthur

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Oscar-Claude Monet

Oscar-Claude Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the term “Impressionism” is derived from the title of his painting Impression, “Soleil Levant” or “Impression, Sunrise,” which was exhibited in 1874. 

Monet adopted a method of painting in which he painted the same scene many times to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. 

Monet is known for having produced a series of paintings, all versions of the same subject and perspective. Examples include his series of the “Valley of the Creuse” series and his famous series of “Haystacks” and “Water Lilies” paintings.

From 1883 Monet lived in Giverny, where at his home, he developed a garden landscape that included the lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works.

In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, first with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings, with the water lilies as the main feature. This series occupied him for the last 20 years of his life.

Claude Monet

  • Name:            Oscar-Claude Monet
  • Born:              1840 – Paris, France
  • Died:              1926 (aged 86) – Giverny, France
  • Nationality:    French
  • Movement:    Impressionism

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir, was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style.

As a celebrator of beauty and especially feminine sensuality, Renoir’s paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated color, most often focusing on people in intimate and candid compositions.

In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with their surroundings.

He was a prolific artist who created several thousand paintings. The single most extensive collection of his works, about 181 pictures, is part of the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

  • Name:           Pierre-Auguste Renoir
  • Born:             1841 – Limoges, Haute-Vienne, France
  • Died:             1919 (aged 78) – Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
  • Nationality:   French
  • Movement:   Impressionism

Pierre-Auguste Renoir: La Grenouillère

A Virtual Tour of Claude Monet’s Art

Claude Monet’s La Grenouillère–Can We Be Serious and Lighthearted at Once?

A Virtual Tour of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Art

CLAUDE MONET – BATHERS AT LA GRENOUILLÈRE

Auguste Renoir – La Grenouillère et les grisettes

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“I had so much fire in me and so many plans.”
– Claude Monet

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Photo Credit: 1) Claude Monet [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; Pierre-Auguste Renoir / Public domain

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