Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Camille Monet and her son Jean in the garden at Atgenteuil (1874)
During the summer of 1874, when Monet, Manet and Renoir worked in close proximity to each other, Monet’s first wife Camille most often posed for Manet and Renoir rather than her husband. Two paintings, one by Manet and one by Renoir, done simultaneously on a summer afternoon, capture a moment of peaceful calm in the Monet’s garden. In 1924, Monet recounted the circumstances of the day in his garden at Argenteuil: “Manet, enthralled by the color and the light, undertook an outdoor painting of figures under trees. During the sitting, Renoir arrived… . He asked me for palette, brush and canvas, and there he was, painting away alongside Manet. The latter was watching him out of the corner of his eye… . Then he made a face, passed discreetly near me, and whispered in my ear about Renoir: ‘He has no talent, that boy! Since you are his friend, tell him to give up painting!’” However later, as a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that “Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau”. While many Impressionist painters focused on landscapes, Renoir painted people in intimate and candid moments. Renoir’s works are also notable for their use of vibrant light and color. His style emphasized freely brushed touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.