Michel Monet was his son, and he features in several of Claude Monet's drawings including Study of Michel Monet Reading

which was sketched when Michel was around 7 years of age and which depicts him concentrating hard on a book he is reading.

Jean-Pierre Hoschedé was the son of two of Monet's friends, Alice and Ernest Hoschedé. Monet stayed with the couple for a time at their chateau and indeed it has been speculated that Jean-Pierre was actually the son of Claude and Alice, rather than of Alice and Ernest.

However one interprets the evidence on this count, though, there is no denying that Monet seemed very fond of Jean-Pierre as he features in several drawings, oil on canvas paintings, and pastel sketches - often in the company of Michel Monet.

Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet depicts the two boys absorbed in drawing something, each at work on their own picture. It seems to have been sketched very quickly, thus giving the viewer a sense of the intimacy of the moment as Claude Monet and the boys all sat at work on their respective drawings.

Many of Monet's drawings of his son are like this - he tended to seem to be working quickly, encapsulating a particular moment in time with the movements of his pencil. As with Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet, Monet's drawings often feature fine detail on the facial features and then a more loose and expansive style as he sketches in clothing or the rest of the sitter's body.

This is the way that Monet works with his sketch entitled Michel Monet Reading, for example, where the sitter's head and facial expression are the focus. Monet also created some portraits of Jean-Pierre by himself, and indeed there is a famous photograph of the aged Jean-Pierre (who died in the 1960s) holding a colourful oil painting portrait of him that Monet had done when he was a young child.

It is possible to track much of Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet's friendship through the paintings and drawings of Claude Monet. In a piece from the 1880s, for example. entitled Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet on the Banks of the Epte, is a colourful piece that shows the two boys exploring a dreamlike and idyllic woodland scene.

Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet is interesting as a beautiful and vivid sketch. But, critics also find it interesting because of the history it conceals - or reveals. Does it reveal a secret son and a love triangle in Claude Monet's life, for example? Or does it just show us one stage in a long lasting friendship between two boys? There are many ways of interpreting Jean-Pierre Hoschedé and Michel Monet.