In the Artist's House at Argenteuil their quiet habitual domesticity is depicted in Monet's five year old son, Jean, as he is seen enjoying himself playing outside, while Monet's wife Camille is stood watching in the doorway of the vine covered home.
The pleasurable weather and nicely kept garden give a sense of well-being to the painting. Claude Monet and his young family were able to relish in this time of financial security due to the recent sales of his artwork to Paris art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. Though their comfortable life would turn problematic by 1874 because of Durand-Ruel's faltering finances. The patronage made it possible for the family to rent the very spacious abode.
During Claude Monet's life of almost seven years in Argenteuil, he managed to produce a whopping 180 canvases. These coincided with the family's gradually improving living standards. In contrast to his many paintings, which were heavily dominated by picturesque river views, pleasure boats and promenades. The Artist's House at Argenteuil is one of many of Monet's paintings that depicts his family, his wife and their young son, Jean.
The focal point of The Artist's House at Argenteuil is Jean who is standing in the center of the painting. He is turned away from the viewer and is wearing summery dress of the period, with a grey-black sash tied at the back. There are blue and white flower pots on either side of him, giving the painting a horticultural touch.
It appears Claude Monet erased a pot some time either during the painting's conception or afterwards. The missing pot was positioned next to now single pot which stands to the left of Jean.
This readjustment makes Jean the main focal point of the painting as he is aligned diagonal of the ceramic pots, two being at the lower right, and a single pot to the upper left. The lush vegetation of a circular flower bed, and the other various flowering plants in large vases gives the viewer a sense that the family are fond of their home and garden and are keeping it nicely kept.
Camille and Jean seem to be partially rendered. UV examinations have revealed that Claude Monet had made various attempts to make changes to the figures,especially to his child Jean. The changes could potentially have been made prior to Jean's impending sixth birthday on August 8 1873, since he had not successfully moved away from wearing unisex clothes to short pants.
The Artist's House at Argenteuil is similar to and can be compared to the other contemporary portraits of Claude Monet's wife and son which have a garden setting, like the painting Camille and Jean Monet in the garden at Argenteuil. It gives the viewer a rare glimpse of how Claude Monet and his family lived in the town. The Artist's House at Argenteuil is no doubt a painting that would appeal to the general Parisian public, an ideal suburban scene, brightly lit which adds a splash of lightness to the courtyard and family oriented. As with all the paintings Claude Monet is off stage, observing his wife and child, a position which absolutely reflects the reality of his situation.