Long before Monet created his famous garden in Giverney, he lived in Argenteuil, a rural escape northwest of Paris. He painted many wonderful paintings there, especially scenes of sailing boats on the river, that you would no doubt recognize from any Monet calendar you have seen or owned. (if you haven’t been lucky enough to see them in person at a museum). This is a painting by Auguest Renoir of Monet Painting in His Garden in 1873. According to the National Museum of Victoria, in Melbourne, Australia: “Monet returned to France from London in 1872 and settled in Argenteuil (a town on a picturesque stretch of the Seine, eleven kilometres from central Paris), where he lived until 1876. His contemporaries Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet and Alfred Sisley joined him and, for a time, Argenteuil became a hub of artistic activity. It was during this time that Monet created some of his most characteristic paintings. In order to observe the effects of sunlight on water more closely, Monet often worked from a boat-turned-studio. In Argenteuil, the rust-red boats, painted in contrasting colours to the blue water and sky and the green water plants, are depicted surrounded by shimmering light – perhaps the true subject of the painting.”
Nowdays, Argenteuil is also well known for its White Asparagus. Yum!