Object Image

Bathers at La Grenouillère

During the summer of 1869, Monet and Renoir painted together at La Grenouillère, a slightly raffish resort on the river Seine some 12 kilometres 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 at the Salon of 1870. Painted quickly and technically quite crude, these studies have a directness and immediacy that could not be achieved in the studio. Monet was painting what he saw, without any attempt to tidy up the scene. Rather than a documentary record of La Grenouillère, he presents a summary of his own experience of fleeting visual effects or impressions that changed moment to moment. As pictures in their own right, these sketches were an important step towards Impressionism.

Credit: Bequeathed by Mrs M.S. Walzer as part of the Richard and Sophie Walzer Bequest, 1979

1869
Oil on canvas
73.0 x 92.0cm
NG6456
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2024

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