The River Scene Contact Information Claude Monet

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Boating sketches - The missing link!

In Paris at ‘Musée Marmottan’, some of Monet’s sketch books are preserved. In the ‘6:e Carnet Marmottan’, 23,5x31,5, we can find some sketches with the girls boating.

Could it possibly be that any of these sketches are related to our River Scene??

Prepare yourself for what you are about to see – this is nothing but sensational!

Sketchbook 6, page 1
Deux Femmes En Barque Sur L'Epte, W:D335

The first sketch: (W.D335) shows Suzanne sitting in the stem. Another girl is only indicated, sitting at the oars. Stop! Let's repeat that: Another girl --- at the oars? That's it! With two parallel strokes Monet creates an oar, mainly in our minds, and we even get a perception that the boat really is gliding slowly on the river – that's what we can call Impressionism! This is the Genius in action Don't you agree??

For a long time I was uncertain about this sketch – could it be that these strokes were suggesting a mooring-pole where the boat was tied up? But now, when having the possibility to enlarge the drawing in the computer, there is no doubt - this is nothing but an oar! Have another look and you can easily see that the woman is holding her right hand on the oar. And the hand is a typical Monet-hand – just indicated.

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In the Wildenstein ouvre-catalogue these sketches are suggested to be ideas for a painting with Alice Hoschedé, Suzanne's mother, sitting in the stem of the boat. The stem is turned against us and Alice turns herself around looking at us, (W.1150). 

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for Alice Hoschedé in the Boat (W.1150)

No sketch is found with the boat drawn like this. More important, however, is that the viewing-point of the artist is on the same level – he must have been seated in his studio-boat when executing this painting. In all the boating girls sketches the boat is seen from a viewing-point where Monet is standing on the river-bank, maybe 1/1.5 meter up.

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