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Springtime, 1886

Springtime, 1886

Claude Monet 1840–1926

Oil on canvas 64.8 x 80.6 cm

Bought with the aid of the National Art Collections Fund, 1953

Collections record: PD.2-1953

© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

This painting was the first by Monet to enter the Museum’s collection, in 1953. It shows Suzanne Hoschedé, the eighteen-year old daughter of Monet’s then mistress, and later wife, Alice, and his own son, Jean Monet, in the orchard of his garden at Giverny in 1886. The tonality perfectly examplifies the ‘violettomania’ or ‘seeing blue’ for which the Impressionists were repeatedly criticised: one commentator described the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877 as having the overall effect of a worm-eaten Roquefort cheese!

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