Dressed in all manner of outfits, from long black bathing costumes on the women at left to the higher-class top-hatted tier of men in white pants, as well as, crinolined long-skirted women to the right, a mass and multiplicity of coloured keys invade the foreground of the painting
Surrounded by rowboats for rent in the focal point, with shirtless swimmers to the left, and visitors to the magnificent floating restaurant to the right, the mixture of all classes at La Grenouillere makes it an unusual spectacle to behold.
Brought to life in 1869, Claude Monet’s La Grenouillere epitomises on the impressionist style of painting, exemplifying the use of light and dark shades to give a feeling of depth, a principle which resonates the canvas and brings the painting to life.
Throughout the canvas, Monet makes use of White Spots to bring out the light, with blue spreads representing the sky, and different green intensities testifying mobility of the foliage, an astute combination of keys and pure colours enabling Monet to obtain beautiful reflections of the water.
Monet paid close attention to the repetitive elements of the painting, from the ripples on the water, the boats, the human figures, to the foliage, weaving a fabric of beautiful brushstrokes retaining a robust descriptive quality.
La Grenouillere, located on Seine near Bougival, was a renowned, fashionable, deluxe middle-class resort, consisting of a Floating Café, a Boating Establishment, and a Spa, for the emerging middle class to fully marvel and relish the new found pleasures of suburban Paris.
Easily accessible by train from Paris, Monet recognised La Grenouillere, as the ideal subject for epitome images of leisure he hoped to sell. Accessible by a gang of planks, people would meet and socialise before progressing to the bar of La Grenouillere.
The name La Grenouillere gained a lot tact and attention because of its double meaning; being that it’s not only the French term for ‘Frog Pond’, but also was colloquially used to describe a class of unattached young women. Satisfying any whim, and going nonchalantly from a mansion on the Champs-Elysees, to a garret in the Batignolles.
Born in Paris 1840, Claude Monet is one of the applauded leaders of Impressionism during his era. The term Impressionism was first launched in 1874, for the group of painters whose work was deemed indefinable and scandalous. Impressionists, had two grounded wills in common, to paint modern life in all its magnificence and bravura, and the second being clear depictions in variations of light and time.
It was during their studies in furthering their careers that Claude Monet and Renoir met in the Gleyre workshop, their master of whom encourage them to embrace and paint in the open air. It was in 1869, that Monet and Renoir brought the La Grenouillere painting to life.
A little guinguette where all came to retire, incidentally also serving as a bathing establishment since it was located on the island of Croissy. This splendid landscape depicted is one of the first that can truly be described as impressionistic. Painted in open air La Grenouillere applauds Claude Monet's painting style.
Fast, sharp, brilliant and vibrant, with brushstrokes detached from each other but collectively capturing the ephemerality of nature, stunning and transient moments illuminated by carefully placed strokes of colour creating a magnificent contrast vivid and breath-taking to the eye, and relishing to the soul.