Painting together



Impressionism: an art-movement

Painting together

Who? Where? When?


When we see Impressionism as an art-movement it is interesting to see which artists painted together, where and when? On another page you will find a chronological overview. On this page you will find some important collaborations.


Painting in the Fontainebleau forest:
Fontainebleau is a forest about 60km south-east of Paris. Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Bazille wanted to paint en-plein-air inspired by the Barbizon-painters. All four being pupils of Gleyre, they formed one of the circles of friends. Their painting in Fontainebleau is an important step for the impressionist art-movement. They went there many times during the years 1862-1871 (R30; R31), but it is not always clear who went when, see.
In April 1863 Renoir, Monet, Bazille and Sisley stayed at Auberge du Cheval-Blanc in Chailly-en-Bière (R30,p9; R22, p49). They also stayed in Hôtel du Lion in Chailly-en-Bière (west of Fontainebleau), where Monet one time was wounded.  Maybe in Spring 1865, with Pissarro, but without Bazille (R30,p9). In 1865 Monet worked on his large painting ‘Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe’ partly in his studio and partly in Chailly (R22,p58; Denvir claims this was in Marlotte; R5,p35). They often stayed at ‘Cabaret de la Mère Anthony’ in Marlotte (R3) south of Fontainebleau, the Inn which Renoir painted in 1866, with Jules le Coeur standing and Sisley with the hat on (R31,no4). In Februar 1866 Sisley, Renoir and Jules le Coeur painted in the surroundings of Marlotte (where le Coeur had bought a house in 1865), Milly and Courances (R166,p91). By then Monet and Bazille were working in Chailly-en-Bière (R166,p91). In 1865 Renoir lives there with his brother Edmond and met Courbet (R30,p9). From February till April Renoir stays frequently with Sisley and Le Coeur in Marlotte (R31,p295). In the summer of 1866 Renoir alternately stays with Jules le Coeur and in ‘Mère Anthony’ (R30,p9). In July 1867 Renoir portrayed Lise Tréhot also in Chailly-en-Bière, see S1868-2113 (R30,no22). 



Saint-Siméon Farm:
The Saint-Siméon Farm in Honfleur was a sort of artists colony, run by Mère Toutain. Many painters often dwelled there, they were called the School of Honfleur.
Monet painted here anyway in 1864 (probably from early June till October); early June with Bazille and at least around the 26th of August with Boudin and Jongkind. Maybe Monet portrayed Jongkind in 1864 (R22,CR44). Monet depicted that period the surroundings of The Saint-Siméon farm at least 5 times (R22,CR24+25+28+29+30). The next winter early 1865 Monet would do so again (R22,CR50). And again February 1867 (R22,CR79-82). According to a watercolour of Boudin, he Jongkind and Monet again met at Saint-Siméon farm around 1867↓. Boudin already 1854/07/18 onwards stayed here for 3 months. In 1859 Boudin met Courbet and Baudelaire here. After Boudin settled around 1860 in Honfleur he would frequently visit the Saint-Siméon farm.
Sources: R22I,p52+53; R177,p53;R88II,p398;R161,p13+14+20+21;R1,p41/2;R3;R87;iR22;iR3;iR24.

La Grénouillère:
La Grenouillère was a popular bathing place. It was on the Île-de-Croissy (now: Île de la Chaussée) in the Seine, west from Paris, between Bougival and Chatou (it’s hard to relocate it now (R22I,p78); one source indicates it’s now on dry land, indicated by a panel). On the right there is a floating open air café, in the middle a small island called ‘camembert’ or ’the flowerpot’. Both to be reached across scaffold planks. On the left their are bathing huts.
In september 1869 Monet and Renoir painted here together. And maybe Renoir did so before in 1868 (R30,no29) and maybe later on with his model Lise Trehot (R30,no.35+46+47) and also around 1873 (R30,no95); Raeburn dates all pictures at 1869 (R31,no13); but it’s clear that the painting styles of these pictures are different. CR12 has more brownish and greyish shades and the brushstroke seems different. In the Milwaukee painting Renoir a smoother brushstroke. He also used brighter colours and purple shades for the shadow of the trees, which indicate a later dating.

Monet than dwelled in Saint-Michel near Bougival and Renoir with his parents in Voisins-Louveciennes. Renoir wrote “I am staying with my parents, but I am almost always with Monet, where, by the way, things are miserable. They don’t even have food every day. Still, I’m happy, because as far as painting goes, Monet is good company.” Wildenstein claims they painted ‘side by side’ at La Grenouillère (R22I,p78). But when we look more closely, we see clear differences. In the pictures of Renoir, most of all in the Winthertur picture, we discern a yellowish glow from the rising sun. The paintings of Monet seem to made made at a later point in the day. We clearly can see the differences in amounts of boats, which suggests other moments. In the Stockholm picture of Renoir we see a plaque on the floating café, which is absent with Monet. It is either that they used a large amount of artistic freedom adjusting the sight they saw to their taste, or they made sketches together and they worked them out in their own studios, which would mean they didn’t really painted en-plein-air.
When we compare the pictures than Renoir did put more emphasis on the figures and applied less depth. Monet used somewhat broader strokes in the process, Renoir brighter colours. Renoir lies more emphasis on the sky and the reflection on the water, Monet lies more emphasis on the boats (CR135).

The paintings the Monet and Renoir made at La Grenouillère are called by some ’the birth of Impressionism’ (R3,p92; R32,p19). Maybe Renoir did refer to their painting in Grénouillère when he wrote: ‘One morning one of us ran out of black, and than Impressionism was born’ (R32,p19). Rewald writes “At La Grenouillère the two friends used rapid strokes, dots, and commas to capture the glistening atmosphere, the movement of the water, and the attitudes of the bathers.” (R1,p230). It’s the first time that Monet’s brushstroke achieved this special vibration. Wildenstein writes “These are achievements, that directly lead to Impressionism.” (R22,p79). The brushstroke Monet and Renoir used is also called a juxta-posed brushstroke and is a main characteristic of the Impressionist painting style. But when we look closely to the works of Jongkind, we see that he already used these juxta-posed brushstrokes in 1857, so 12 years earlier as Monet and Renoir.
Monet wrote 1869/09/25 that he had finished a few poor sketches and that Renoir had spent two months here (R31,p191;R1,p228). Monet painted probably a large version that was rejected by the Salon (see), bought by Durand-Ruel in 1873 for 2000 francs, probably exhibited at the 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition (as no.164) and destroyed during World War II (R22,CR136).
Sources: R1,p227-232; R3,p90-92; R5,p55; R22I,p78+79; R30; R31,no12+13; R98,p22-95; iR3; iR5.

At Monet in Argenteuil around 1874:
After Monet moved to Argenteuil at the end of 1871 Renoir, Sisley, and Manet would often come and paint with him (note: not Caillebotte as some sources say).


La Jour et la Nuit:
La Jour et la Nuit had to be a publication of etchings.




See the link for other general References (=Rx) and to the internet references (=iRx). See here for explanation of the subscription of the paintings.



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