Joy of Museums Virtual Tours

Virtual Tours of Museums, Art Galleries, and Historic Sites

“The Basin at Argenteuil” by Claude Monet

The Basin at Argenteuil by Claude Monet - Musée d’Orsay, Paris

“The Basin at Argenteuil” by Claude Monet

“The Basin at Argenteuil” by Claude Monet was painted during the period when he lived in Argenteuil, from December 1871 until 1878. Monet painted outdoors, and he would set up his easel out in the countryside or his garden. He would then carefully reworked the details of his canvases in his studio.

In his painting with the light and vivid colors, Monet shows his mastery of the technique of fragmented brush strokes to produce an interplay of luminous vibration. The left of the painting is dominated by the shadows of the trees planted along the Argenteuil promenade. However, the significant part of the picture is given over to clouds moving across the blue sky.

This painting represents the start of a productive series of works while he stayed at Argenteuil, as Impressionism reached its peak during the Argenteuil period. Monet wrote later in life:

“My only merit lies in having painted directly in front of nature, seeking to render my impressions before the most fleeting moments.”

This painting is one of over seventy works Monet painted of the Seine River in Argenteuil. It combines favorite themes of leisurely figures strolling, boating, and bathing together with backdrops of bridges and landscape features.

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.

The Basin at Argenteuil (Le Bassin d’Argenteuil)

  • Title:             The Basin at Argenteuil (Le Bassin d’Argenteuil)
  • Artist:           Claude Monet
  • Year:             1872
  • Medium:      Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 60 × 80.5 cm (23.6 × 31.7 in)
  • Museum:      Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Claude Monet

A Tour of the Musée d’Orsay


  • Monet lived and painted in Argenteuil in the 1870s. This is my favorite from his early Monet period.


“I have always worked better alone and from my own impressions.”
– Claude Monet


Photo Credit: 1) JOM

Popular this Week

Museums, Art Galleries & Historical Sites - Virtual Tours
Japanese Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
Ancient Artifacts - Virtual Tour
Greek Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
Mesopotamian Art and Artifacts - Virtual Tour
Mission San José - Virtual Tour
Law Code of Hammurabi
Korean Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings
Russian Proverbs and Quotes
Mexican Proverbs, Quotes, and Sayings