Claude Monet (1840 -1926)

Belle-Ile

1886

Oil on canvas

H. 65 cm ; W. 85.5 cm

P.7329

Monet and Rodin not only admired each other professionally but were also close friends. Their works were shown together in 1889 at a joint exhibition held at the Galerie Georges Petit. In 1888, Monet apparently gave this painting to the sculptor in exchange for his Young Mother in the Grotto . Belle-Île belongs to a series of 39 canvases painted by Monet during a long visit to Belle-Île-en-Mer in 1886. For ten weeks, he wandered around the wildest part of the island. He set up his easel along the jagged coastline to paint in the open air and capture the infinite variations of light.

 

Influenced by the Japanese artist Hokusai’s prints, he painted numerous views of rocks in the sea without any human presence and, while gazing at the immensity of the surrounding ocean, injected new life into his own pictorial language.The canvases painted on Belle-Île represented a turning point in Monet’s career, for this was the beginning of the work on series that he undertook from the 1890s onwards: observing the metamorphosis of a motif at different times of day and year, a process which then became systematic and would epitomize his oeuvre for ever.

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