Claude Monet’s Women in the Garden nearly stopped me in my tracks at the National Gallery this past weekend. Holy moly, this work is sensational on so many levels.
WITG was painted in 1866. All of the women in the work were modeled by his partnere Camille. Monet submitted the work for the 1867 Salon exhibition, where it was rejected. Apparently, Salon critics were SUPER AGAINST its abundance of visible brushstrokes and lack of narrative: One juror even said:
“Too many young people think of nothing but continuing in this abominable direction. It is high time to protect them and save art!”
Reminds me of that moment in SATC:
I get it. Monet was like, 26, at the time… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
With its rejection, Monet turned to his friend Bazille who purchased the work for 2,500 francs (approx. $3M today), to be paid in installments. Scholarship suggests he was inspired by such a large work that he created his own, The Family Reunion, below.
Thoughhhh this work is creepy enough to deserve its own post later this week.