- Arts and Design
Claude Monet in Argenteuil & Vetheuil
Claude Monet Paintings
Monet and his family spent 1871 - 1878 in Argenteuil where he produced nearly 170 works of art. Just a 15 minutes train ride from Paris, Argenteuil was a popular destination for sailing because it was right on the Seine River. It was also close enough to Paris for a day trip to get out of the city. Monet's family, friends and the river landscapes were the subjects of his artwork during this period.
By 1878, the once tranquil village of Argenteuil had become commercialized so Monet picked up his family and moved down the Seine river to the small village of Vetheuil. The unspoiled village and rural riverside location gave him plenty of inspiration for his paintings. Because it was much farther from Paris, he no longer entertained friends as often so he tended to paint the rural landscapes rather than people.
Some of Claude Monet's most recognized artworks were painted in Argenteuil and Vetheuil France.
Monet's Family & Home in Argenteuil
In his home in Argenteuil, Monet's passion for gardening was cultivated. Even though his family was just renting the house, he planted many flowers and decorated the terrace with numerous blooming floral planters. He painted lots of artwork depicting the garden along with his family playing and relaxing on the terrace.
Poppies in Argenteuil, 1873(Musee d'Orsay)
The Luncheon, 1873(Musee d'Orsay)
Camille in the Garden with Jean and his Nanny, 1873(Private Collection)
Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil, 1876 (Metropolitan Museaum of Art - New York USA)
Monet's Garden at Argenteuil, 1873(Private Collection)
Reproduce a Monet with these video tips
Books about Monet's Time in Argenteuil & Vetheuil
The authors of these fabulous books traveled to Normandy and along the Seine River to visit the areas that Monet has immortalized in his paintings. You can see photographs of the area today alongside the paintings with Monet's impressions.
Monet's Argenteuil Boat & Bridge Paintings
Another source of inspiration was the many pleasure boats and sailboat regattas held on the Seine River. Argenteuil was so popular with sailing enthusiasts that they even hosted international sailing competitions. Monet even had a floating studio designed and built for the sole purpose of floating on the Seine and painting some of his favorite subjects. In fact in 1874 Manet painted Monet in his floating studio on the Seine River. Here are just some of his most famous paintings.
The Bridge at Argenteuil, 1874(Musee d'Orsay)
Regatta at Argenteuil, 1872 (Musee d'Orsay)
The Boats, Regatta at Argenteuil, 1874 (Musee d'Orsay)
Argenteuil Late Afternoon, 1874(Private Collection)
Red Boats at Argenteuil, 1875(Harvard University Art Museaum)
Recommended Claude Monet Websites
- Art of Monet
A comprehensive resource cataloguing 500 Monet paintings, how they’re linked, where they’re held and how his career developed.
- Claude Monet Life & Art
Claude Monet's biography and paintings. Visit of his house and his watergarden in Giverny with its Japanese bridge over the waterlily pond. Claude Monet in museum collections and past and today exhibitions.
- Claude Monet Paintings Gallery
Comprehensive list of Monet paintings with image and link to the gallery where painting is displayed.
Camille's Death in Vetheuil
Unfortunately, Claude Monet's wife, Camille became ill with Tuberculosis in 1876. After giving birth to their second son, Michel, Camille's health was quite frail as her illness progressed. She passed away in September 1879. Monet painted her on her deathbed. After Camille's death, Monet was grief stricken and dedicated himself to his work, creating some of the best paintings of his illustrious career.
Camille on her Deathbed, 1879 (Musee d'Orsay, Paris)
Vetheuil Village & Monet's Private Garden
After Monet moved down the Seine from Argenteuil to VÃ©theuil in 1878, he painted VÃ©theuil from many different locations over the next few years. He also painted scenes of the village, the river and the surrounding area in every season including winter (as seen in ice-covered Seine painting below).
Monet's other favorite subject during his three year stay in Vetheuil were his gardens that he seemed to plant wherever he lived. Although he merely rented a house in Vetheuil, he made arrangements with the owner to landscape the terraces, which lead down to the Seine. Several of his famous paintings feature his children playing on the path and steps extending beyond the back of the home.
VÃ©theuil in the Summer, 1880 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)
Monet's Garden at VÃ©theuil, 1881 (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA)
Banks of the Seine, VÃ©theuil, 1880 (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, USA)
Path in the Ile Saint-Martin, Vetheuil, 1880 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)
The Artist's Garden at Vetheuil, 1881 (Private Collection)
Vetheuil Seen from Ile Saint Martin, 1880 (Private Collection)
VÃ©theuil in Winter, 1879 (The Frick Collection, New York, USA)
VÃ©theuil sur Seine / Vue de VÃ©theuil, 1880 (National Gallery Berlin)
Argenteuil & Vetheuil Today
As Paris has grown, the town of Argenteuil has become a northwest suburb of the city. It is only 7.6 miles from the city center. The beautiful small town that both Claude Monet and Edouard Manet painted is unfortunately a thing of the past.
Today, the village of Vetheuil is small and picturesque as it was during Claude Monet's life. The population is estimated at only 850 people. The Seine river and surrounding hills still provide an excellent backdrop for photographs and paintings. So if you are heading out to the Giverny gardens from Paris, leave enough time for a small detour through Vetheuil (it is virtually on the way). There are plenty of small cafes and souvenir shops where you can pick up some holiday gifts, ornaments, or Monet-inspired items for family and friends.
Add Some French Flair To Your Wedding
Although I think that everyone should visit France at least once in their lifetime and I know that Paris would be an amazing place to get married, I also understand that most people can't just pick up their entire wedding party to head to France. That said, you don't have to be in France to add a little French flair to your nuptials. You can use Monet's paintings or the Parisian skyline as your inspiration to have a garden themed wedding that incorporates some of Monet's favorite flowers that he immortalized in paintings (like red poppies). Or bring in some French wedding favors that feature a fleur de lis or Eiffel tower design like the place card holders shown in the photo.
Photo Credit: Wedding Favors Unlimited
French & Garden Inspired Wedding Resources
- Garden Themed Wedding Favors
Seed packets, floral covered boxes, and candles are just a few of the garden-themed wedding favors that you'll find by following this link.
- French Wedding Favors
Parisian themed items such as the Eiffel Tower and French themed items such as fleur de lis bottle stoppers are just a few of the amazing French-inspired wedding favors here.