In this picture Renoir was not trying to present an ideal image of Monet as a painter. On the contrary, he offers an image as personal as it is realistic. Holding his palette and paint brushes, wearing his painting clothes and in a very relaxed pose, Monet stops what he is doing and looks towards his friend. His figure stands out against the light from the window in a room without furniture. Light is concentrated on the painter's face, creating a brightness at the top of the dark mass of the clothes.
A tree with long narrow leaves, clearly an oleander, invades the space, intruding into the area above Monet's head. Perhaps Renoir is humorously crowning his model with laurel. This friendly intention might also explain the small round hat which is as much a halo as headgear. The lively, dynamic effect of this canvas is reinforced by the variety of different...
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