Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Luncheon with Monet

Reconstructed version of the original
painting, which Monet cut into
pieces after his landlord took it
for rent and let it get mouldy.
Yesterday I explored a few Impressionist paintings of people who were eating, who had just finished a meal, or in one case, a maid cleaning up after a meal. The subject matter in these paintings was non-traditional, illustrating the break between the interests of the Impressionists and their predecessors, not just the new techniques they used. These paintings show fairly ordinary people, quotidian activity, candid poses. Today I'm following up with a few related paintings by Claude Monet.

Monet: Dejuner Sur L'Herbe (1865–1866)
Monet's painting of men and women eating lunch on the grass obviously makes reference to Manet's shocking Dejuner Sur L'Herbe (1862-1863). Monet depicted painters Gustave Courbet and Frédéric Bazille along with Camille Doncieux, his first wife.

Monet: The Luncheon (1868)
In the slightly later painting above, Monet depicted the luncheon food in great detail: bread, grapes, a platter of meat and vegetables. The ordinariness of the subject matter and the huge size of the painting resulted in yet another rejection, and the work was not shown until 1874. See this historic description from the Städel Museum which owns the painting.

Monet: The Luncheon (1873)
Monet: The Dinner (1869)
Monet: After Dinner (1869)

Monet: Still Life with Melon (1872)
Monet was also a master of still life paintings, including many with fruit such as the one I've chosen. For a further discussion of these paintings see "Monet's Luncheon Paintings." My description of Monet's kitchen at Giverny is here.

16 comments:

Kitchen Riffs said...

This post, and your previous one, are really fun! I've always enjoyed looking at paintings of food, or better yet people consuming it. You've provided such a nice selection for us to contemplate. Thank you.

Jeanie said...

Lovely paintings by a favorite and timely, too! Yesterday at Southern Exposure our meal was inspired by Monet's table -- a chicken stuffed with Brie, a lovely spring salad with berries and a wonderful raspberry dressing, new potatoes and asparagus and a to-die-for apple pastry. I think Monet would have been pleased!

~~louise~~ said...

You may have just helped me select the first cookbook to share for Cookbook Wednesday, Mae! Monet's Table! I wrote about it briefly a while back I think but I'm not sure how in depth I went into the actual book itself.

Thanks Mae, and thanks for bringing this post to the table:)

Tina said...

What a great post to start my morning with, lovely paitintings. Monet captured the scenes perfectly, and what better subject that sharing a meal.

Beth F said...

I love this post! I'm a big Monet fan and have a copy of book MONET'S TABLE, which includes recipes and descriptions of the way he ate.

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

These paintings are gorgeous.

Beth F said...

Thanks for the tips, Mae!

Katherine P said...

I love the paintings. I'm familiar with Monet's work but I haven't seen many of his food related paintings. I'm going to have to go look at both links.

Vicki said...

I haven't seen many foodie paintings, so I enjoyed going through your post.

jama said...

Love seeing these Monet paintings! I have two books that feature Monet + food. He was quite the gourmand!

Claudia said...

Nice, they give us a little window into mealtime in an earlier age.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I too have not seen much of Monet's food related work so this post was a nice introduction to it. Thanks for sharing.
Aloha, Deb--Kahakai Kitchen

Carole said...

Great idea for a post. Thanks. Cheers from Carole's Chatter!

My Cozy Book Nook said...

I love looking at Impressionist paintings (I tend to be partial to Renoir) - and I especially like the idea of viewing them by theme. Some day I'd like to curate a collection of Impressionist dogs :)

Molly @MyCozyBookNook
My Cozy Book Nook
Revising Life after 50

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I love the Impressionists too, thanks for sharing these.

olduvaireads said...

Love your post! I especially liked the dinner and after dinner paintings.