Abstract Canvas Prints : Bad sketch

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Monet and Renoir both produced pictures called La Grenouillère (both 1869), which they had painted from exactly the same spot.

It allows for a stylistic comparison to be made between the two artists, particularly as the paintings depict a near-identical scene.

It is one of tranquil informality, in which a group of smartly dressed holidaymakers relax in and around a popular swimming spot.

The centre of both paintings is taken up with a social gathering on a small round island, located a few metres from the shore, which is reached by a narrow wooden pontoon that comes in from the left.

Others are chatting in a café to the right of the picture or enjoying a swim on the far side of the island.

In the near foreground are moored rowing boats, bobbing gently on the water, the shallow ripples of which are given a silvery glint by the afternoon sun.

In the background, creating a horizontal band that runs across both pictures, is a row of trees in full leaf.

Monet’s picture was only ever meant to be a sketch (he described it as a ‘bad sketch’) in preparation for a much larger, more detailed painting that he hoped would be accepted by the Salon (it wasn’t, and has subsequently been lost).

‘Bad sketch’ or not, it is a good example of early Impressionism: crudely painted, brightly coloured, quickly executed and portraying a modern bourgeois subject. As is Renoir’s version, for the same reasons.


Abstract Photography Prints by Art and Inspiration