Though iconic in its own right, Argenteuil is a famous and inspirational location in France that has caused many artists to create paintings around the subject.
It is a beautiful scene that allows painters such as Monet to capture its essence.
Monet lived in Argenteuil with his family in the late 1800's. The location attracts a lot of sailers who bring their boats with them such as yachts and rowboats which inspire artists all by themselves.
Just four years after Monet had moved to this location did he start to paint sailboats. A group of boats which are situated at the basin of Argenteuil itself.
The boats themselves are the focus of the painting with their rich deep red colours. They draw attention to them, surrounded by the smaller boats of light blues and navys.
The red boats act almost as a pallete cleanser. They sit upon the blue water and against the blue sky and are a stark contrast compared to the green of the trees and grasses along with the vegetation sitting upon the surface of the water.
The use of the bright white for the sails lifts the picture and makes it less heavy and more refreshing to look at.
Monet is an impressionist and uses dabbled and broken brushstrokes to give a new texture to his paintings. If one looks closer at most of Monet's work they are able to see the tiny intricate details Monet has placed with his dotted paint work.
Monet uses directional painting techniques in order to express movement and height. For example, the masts are painted vertically to emphasise how they stretch up into the sky. The perspective on the boat itself does not follow any particular direction and give the vessels more life.
This particular style that Monet uses in this painting is the same as used in Nymphéas which is perhaps his most famous painting of water lilies sitting upon the surface.
Sailing Boat in Argenteuil is not the only painting created using inspiration from this location. He also created Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat. This scene takes place in autumn, a much more colder painting than the previous.
It was painted in the same year and only features one sailboat in the distance as opposed to a group of them in the basin. Monet actually painted most of the works related to Argenteuil from a boat of his own so he could get a fair perspective.
Monet was not the only artist who used Argenteuil as inspiration for creations. Gustave Caillebotte created Sailing Boats at Argenteuil after Monet's own works. Caillebotte was famously passionate about sailing and invested in his own vessels as well as a house across the Seine close to Argenteuil itself.
Caillebotte came after artists had used this location for their own works, such as Monet himself, Renoir and Sisley. Caillebotte did not start to paint this area until 1888, a while after the topic was popular. Caillebotte paints beautiful boats and includes the old bridge in Argenteuil as well as a railway in the distance.
Caillebotte, like Monet, uses directional brushstrokes to create beautiful water that reflects and shines by horiztonal and vertical lines. Caillebotte differs from Monet by working against fluid brushstrokes and instead utilises broad, strong strokes.
Despite which artist it is and what techniques are uses, Argenteuil is a popular location for sailers and painters alike and inspires beautiful works of art.