Monet Impressions: Picnic on the Grass
Whenever the word “impressionist” is used, most people think first of Claude Monet, who depicted nature in a subjective and innovative way. Conversely, his studies of people seem cool and detached. “Le Dejeuner Sur l’Herbe” intrigued me. Who were these people about to sit down outdoors to enjoy a meal together? What had they been doing moments before? What were they feeling?
For inspiration, I turned to Monet’s life and a very pivotal series of events that shaped his later years. In 1878, shortly after the birth of his second son, Michael, his wife Camille fell gravely ill. The Monets were in terrible financial trouble at the time. At the invitation of art dealer Ernest Hoschedes, they set up a joint household with Hoschedes and his wife, Alice, in Ventimille.
Madame Hoschedes nursed Camille until her death in 1879. Thereafter, Alice and Monet became a couple, married in 1892 after the death of Ernest Hoschedes, and raised their joint family until Alice’s death in 1911.