Springtime is an 1872 painting by Claude Monet. It depicts his first wife, Camille Doncieux, seated serenely beneath a canopy of lilacs. The painting is presently held by the Walters Art Museum.
In this painting entitled Springtime, Claude Monet uses his first wife, Camille Doncieux, as the model. Camille and Claude Monet were married in 1870, before this time she had been his mistress and served as a model for Monet's figurative paintings of the 1860s and 1870s. It is said that Camille possessed unusual talent as a model and was also used by Auguste Renoir and Édouard Manet.
Late in the year 1871, Monet and his family settled in Argenteuil, a village Northwest of Paris. The village was a popular resort for urban pleasure-seekers. Colleagues of Monet frequently joined him and the village became associated with Impressionism. In the spring of 1872, Monet painted a number of canvases in his garden, often showing Camille and Alfred Sisley's companion, Adélaïde-Eugénie Lescouezec.
Springtime was on display at an exhibition organized by the Impressionists at Durand Ruel's Paris Gallery, from March 30 to April 30, 1876. Monet exhibited 18 works, for which 6 of these works Camille had posed. During this exhibition, Springtime was given the more generic title of Woman Reading.
Monet's second wife, Alice Hoschedé, ordered the complete destruction of pictures and mementos from Camille's life with Monet, therefore, Camille's image almost solely survives on the basis of Monet's paintings.
In this composition, Camille is seated serenely beneath a canopy of lilacs. Her face and form are in close focus unlike later depictions which portray her as older and far less attractive. Sunlight peaks through the trees, creating patches of light on the ground and on her muslin dress. The painting represents an enchanting scene of domestic life.
Off the Wall
In 2012, a reproduction of Springtime was featured in Off the Wall, an open-air exhibition on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland. The reproduction – the original is part of the Walters Art Museum collection – was on display at the Cylburn Arboretum. The National Gallery in London began the concept of bringing art out of doors in 2007 and the Detroit Institute of Art introduced the concept in the U.S.. The Off the Wall reproductions of the Walters' paintings are done on weather-resistant vinyl and include a description of the painting and a QR code for smart phones.
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- A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte; The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2002-2004.
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- 19th Century Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin. 2010-2011.
- ^ Gedo, M. M., Monet and his Muse: Camille Monet in the Artist's Life, University of Chicago Press, 2010, pp. XI-4.
- ^ Johnston, W. R., Nineteenth Century Art: From Romanticism to Art Nouveau, The Walters Art Gallery, pp. 133-134.ISBN 1857592433
- ^ Gedo, M. M., Monet and his Muse: Camille Monet in the Artist's Life, University of Chicago Press, 2010, p. 167.
- ^ a b The Walters Art Museum -Springtime
- ^ Gedo, M. M., Monet and his Muse: Camille Monet in the Artist's Life, University of Chicago Press, 2010, p. 20.
- ^ Johnston, S., In Monet's Light: Theodore Robinson at Giverny, Phillip Wilson Publishers, 2004, p. 65.
- ^ Gedo, M. M., Monet and his Muse: Camille Monet in the Artist's Life, University of Chicago Press, 2010, pp. 131-139.
- ^ Johnston, W. R., Nineteenth Century Art: From Romanticism to Art Nouveau, The Walters Art Gallery, pp. 133–134.ISBN 1857592433
- ^ Walters Art Museum - Off the Wall
- ^ Smith, T., "Walters Art Museum goes off the wall", The Baltimore Sun, September 11, 2012