MONET, Claude
(b. 1840, Paris, d. 1926, Giverny)

Le Déjeuner sur l'Herbe (The Picnic, two parts)

Oil on canvas, 418 x 150 and 248 x 217 cm
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Encouraged by some success in the 1865 Salon and spurred on by Manet's Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, which appeared two years earlier, Monet began work on a huge canvas measuring approximately 4,5 m x 6 m. He worked on it in his studio with the aid of individual studies which had been done in the open. In 1866, he abandoned this ambitious work and left the painting unfinished.

Having been forced to leave the canvas with a creditor as security, he was not able to redeem it until 1884. In the meantime, the painting had unfortunately been damaged. Consequently, Monet cut the composition up in three sections, only the left-hand and middle sections have been preserved. A study carried out in September 1865 (now in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow) gives an impression of the full-scale painting which contained no fewer than 12 life-size figures.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.