Claude Monet - The Artist’s Garden in Argenteuil, date unknown. Oil on canvas
During the 1870s and 1880s Argenteuil became an important source of inspiration for the impressionist artists, who immortalized its river views, bridges, streets, and factories in their groundbreaking paintings. Argenteuil retained much of its rustic charm and during the 1850s became a popular destination for day-trippers from Paris, drawn there by the pleasant riverside promenades and boating activities. This spectacular stretch of the Seine, where the river reached its widest and deepest points, hosted a great variety of events, from sailing and steamboat races to water jousts and recreational boating. Argenteuil was therefore a town with many facets, a place that combined leisure and labour, fields and factories, rural beauty and urban life.
Claude Monet - Ice Floes, 1893. Oil on canvas
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC:
The prolonged freeze and heavy snowfalls in the winter of 1892–93 inspired Monet to capture their effects on the Seine in a series of paintings for which he chose a vantage point not far from his home in Giverny. The river had frozen in mid-January but began to thaw on the 23rd; the following day, in a letter to his dealer, Durand-Ruel, Monet lamented that “the thaw came too soon for me … the results—just four or five canvases and they are far from complete.” By the end of February, however, he had finished more than a dozen paintings, including this view of the melting ice floes.