The Seine at Lavacourt


Claude Monet ( French, 1840 - 1926 )

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General Description

Claude Monet made the first sketches for this painting from just below his own garden at Vétheuil, looking across the Seine to the town of Lavacourt on the opposite bank. Monet was struggling financially, and, as he wrote, he was seeking to “do something wiser, more bourgeois.” In a deliberate attempt to reach a larger public and market, he submitted the traditionally formulated Seine at Lavacourt to the 1880 Salon. It was accepted, but the canvas was poorly hung and never attracted much attention except from writer Émile Zola, the vocal advocate of impressionism, who described it as “an exquisite note of light and open air.” In the same year, Monet submitted another, more audacious scene, which was refused. He would never again offer a painting to the Salon.

Excerpt from

Bonnie Pitman, ed., "The Seine at Lavacourt," in Dallas Museum of Art: A Guide to the Collection (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012), 199.

Related Multimedia

Collections smARTphone tour; Dr. Heather MacDonald discusses The Seine at Lavacourt by Claude Monet (DMA collection 938.4.M)
Learn about Claude Monet (1840-1926).
Art historian Martha Ward discusses this painting's reception at the Salon.

Web Resources

  • The National Gallery, London
    Check out Lavacourt under Snow by Monet.

  • YouTube
    Watch this video of Monet painting en plein air, or outdoors, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.