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Sargent first met Monet in 1876, but the two artists were closest ten years later. It was probably in 1885 that they painted together at Giverny, near Paris. Sargent admired the way that Monet worked out of doors, and imitated some of his subjects and methods in sketches such as this. It is characteristic of Sargent to give a human view of Monet's practice and of the patience of his wife, who sits behind him. When he settled in London in 1885 Sargent was initially viewed as avant-garde, but came to be the greatest society portraitist of his day.

August 2004