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Garden at Sainte-Adresse

Claude Monet, 1867
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


John House notes the possible influence of Japanese prints on Garden at Sainte-Adresse:

“Monet himself in 1868-9 called Terrace at Sainte-Adresse his ‘Chinese painting with flags in it’, a phrase which can only mean that he had deliberately incorporated Japanese elements into the painting’s composition (the terms Japanese and Chinese were used interchangeably at the time)….[T]he horizon is high; there are jumps in space between viewer and terrace, and terrace and sea; and the flagpoles, fences and horizon impose an emphatic grid pattern on the surface. This rectilinear grid is accentuated by the overt and surely deliberate distortion of perspective in the line of the top of the fence on the right. The fence-top is below our eye-level and runs towards us in space (as shown by the shadow cast on it by the gate); it should thus slope upwards towards a central vanishing point on the horizon rather than being a virtual horizontal. The painting’s composition has many parallels in Japanese prints, notably Hokusai’s The Sazaido of the Gohyaku Rakan-ji Temple from the 36 Views of Mount Fuji; Monet owned a copy of this, whose damaged condition may suggest that it was one of his earliest Japanese acquisitions.”

John House, Monet. Nature into Art (New Haven-London: Yale University Press, 1986), 47-51.

About the Artist

Born: Paris, 14 November 1840
Died: Giverny, 6 December 1926
Nationality: French