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Claude Monet | Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, 1865-1866

From: Musée d’Orsay, Paris
This fragment, there is a second also in the Musée d'Orsay, is one of the remaining parts of the monumental Luncheon on the Grass by Monet. The work was started in the spring of 1865 and measured over four metres by six. It was intended to be both a tribute and a challenge to Manet whose painting of the same title had been the subject of much sarcasm from the public as well as the critics when it was exhibited in the Salon des Refusés in 1863. But the project was abandoned in 1866, just before the Salon where Monet intended to show it, opened.

In 1920, the painter himself recounted what had happened to the picture: "I had to pay my rent, I gave it to the landlord as security and he rolled it up and put in the cellar. When I finally had enough money to get it back, as you can see, it had gone mouldy". Monet got the painting back in1884, cut it up, and kept only three fragments. The third has now disappeared.

Monet started by producing a series of small studies from life, then made a more finished and worked sketch in the studio (Moscow, Pushkin Museum). The most noticeable difference between the sketch and the painting is the replacement of the young beardless man sitting on the tablecloth, with a strapping bearded fellow who bears a striking resemblance to Courbet.
Courbet had been to see Monet and Bazille in their shared studio during the winter of 1865-1866. According to Bazille, he was, "enchanted" by The Luncheon on the Grass.
This account differs from that of Gustave Geffroy, who said that Courbet's comments were the reason why Monet abandoned the painting.
However the two accounts are not incompatible - a negative opinion might have been formulated after the compliments.

The fact remains that Monet wrote to Bazille in 1865: "I can think of nothing but my painting and if I had to leave it, I think I would go mad" It is therefore easy to imagine how discouraging Monet would have found the slightest hint of reticence from the master of the avant-garde.
Whether Courbet had been critical or not, Monet would have been perfectly aware of the difficulties in transposing the sketch into a monumental painting.

He accentuated the contrasts in light and shade, heightened the colours, and furthermore maintained the radiance and spontaneity of the studies.
In April 1866, seeing that he would be unable to finish the immense painting for the Salon, Monet announced his decision to Armand Gautier to "leave on one side for the moment all my current large projects which only use up my money and get me into difficulties". | Source: © Musée d’Orsay

Claude Monet | Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe | Pushkin Museum, 1866

Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe is an 1866 painting by Claude Monet, a smaller version of a slightly earlier work now in the Musée d'Orsay. It is now in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.
Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe was first exhibited in Louis Latouche's art gallery, and was in the collection of the opera singer Jean-Baptiste Faure for a time.
It was exhibited at the 1900 exhibition of Monet's works at the Durand-Ruel gallery.
On seeing it at the 1900 Exposition Universelle, Alexandre Benois described it as "perhaps Monet's most brilliant work" and "one of the most beautiful [works] of the entire 20th century".

Sergei Shchukin bought the painting from Monet himself in November 1904 for 30,000 francs, via the art dealer Paul Cassirer, the thirteenth Monet work he acquired.
His collection was seized by the Soviet state in May 1918, with Le Déjeuner initially going to the State Museum of New Western Art and then, from 1948, being hung in its present home.

Claude Monet | Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe | Musée d'Orsay and Pushkin Museum

Claude Monet | Bazille and Camille (Study for "Déjeuner sur l'Herbe"), 1865 | National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Colazione sull'erba (Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe) è un dipinto ad olio su tela (248 x 217 cm) realizzato nel 1865-1866 dal pittore francese Claude Monet. È conservato nel Musée d'Orsay di Parigi. Il quadro riprende il celebre dipinto di Édouard Manet, Colazione sull'erba.
Questo è solo un frammento di un'opera di maggiori dimensioni, che Monet abbandonerà lasciandola in pegno al proprietario di casa per il mancato pagamento dell'affitto, questi la terrà in un luogo umido dove ammuffirà parzialmente.
Per questo motivo quando egli riuscirà a recuperarla nel 1884 la taglierà e ne conserverà soltanto tre frammenti, il terzo dei quali è oggi scomparso.
Il dipinto è realizzato con la tecnica dell'"en plein air", cioè della pittura all'aperto, direttamente sul posto e non in studio, secondo gli insegnamenti di Manet. | Fonte: © Wikipedia