The Basin at Argenteuil
Claude Monet, French, The Basin at Argenteuil, 1874, Oil on canvas; 55.2 x 74.3 cm (21 3/4 x 29 1/4 inches), Gift of Mrs. Murray S. Danforth 42.219
During the 1870s, Monet rented a house in Argenteuil, a riverside village northwest of Paris that provided ample subjects for his studies of natural light and atmospheric effects. The Seine was wide and deep at this location, a favored one for the sailing regattas and pleasure boating alluded to in this painting. On the far bank of the basin at Argenteuil near a shady promenade, a former ferryman’s house had been turned into a café. Monet observed the view from a spot on the island of Petit-Gennevilliers. Capturing the shimmering reflections of moored and sailing boats, he cropped the composition to exclude the nearby railroad bridge and any signs of the industrial structures that were encroaching on this idyllic setting.