In December 1871, Monet moved with his family to Argenteuil. This town to the northwest of Paris had become one of the favourite locations of enthusiasts who came to enjoy boating, yachting and rowing.Around 1875, Monet painted a series of views of sailing boats at anchor in Argenteuil basin. In the painting in the Musée de l’Orangerie, the vermilion hulls of the boats are at the centre of the composition. They offer a striking contrast with the blue of the sky and water, and the green of the vegetation floating on the surface of the Seine. Everything is enhanced by the white splashes of the sails and the navy blue of the hulls on the left.
The broken brushstrokes are typical of Impressionism at its height. The vertical lines of the masts give rhythm and structure to the composition. Traditional perspective is not strictly observed, the perspective lines seem to diverge to the right and left of the boats.
The painting acquired by Domenica Walter is the only work by Monet in the collection. This canvas from early in Monet’s career echoes his artistic testament, also in the Musée de l’Orangerie - the decorative cycle of Nymphéas [Water Lilies].
Provenance: Romaine Brooks, Nice (around1921); Domenica Walter (around 1955)