Rare 1915 Film Shows Claude Monet at Work in His Famous Garden at Giverny

Long ago, we showed you some star­tling footage of an elder­ly, arthrit­ic Pierre-Auguste Renoir, paint­ing with hor­ri­bly deformed hands. Today we offer a more idyl­lic image of a French Impres­sion­ist painter in his gold­en years: Claude Mon­et on a sun­ny day in his beau­ti­ful gar­den at Giverny.

Once again, the footage was pro­duced by Sacha Gui­t­ry for his project Ceux de Chez Nous, or “Those of Our Land.” It was shot in the sum­mer of 1915, when Mon­et was 74 years old. It was not the best time in Mon­et’s life. His sec­ond wife and eldest son had both died in the pre­vi­ous few years, and his eye­sight was get­ting pro­gres­sive­ly worse due to cataracts. But despite the emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal set­backs, Mon­et would soon rebound, mak­ing the last decade of his life (he died in 1926 at the age of 86) an extreme­ly pro­duc­tive peri­od in which he paint­ed many of his most famous stud­ies of water lilies.

At the begin­ning of the film clip we see Gui­t­ry and Mon­et talk­ing with each oth­er. Then Mon­et paints on a large can­vas beside a lily pond. It’s a shame the cam­era does­n’t show the paint­ing Mon­et is work­ing on, but it’s fas­ci­nat­ing to see the great artist all clad in white, a cig­a­rette dan­gling from his lips, paint­ing in his love­ly gar­den.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

1922 Pho­to: Claude Mon­et Stands on the Japan­ese Foot­bridge He Paint­ed Through the Years

Impres­sion­ist Painter Edgar Degas Takes a Stroll in Paris, 1915

Rare Film of Sculp­tor Auguste Rodin Work­ing at His Stu­dio in Paris (1915)

Watch Hen­ri Matisse Sketch and Make His Famous Cut-Outs (1946)

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