by Claude Monet
oil on canvas, 174 x 172cm
These turkeys were painted in the grounds of the Chateau of Rottenburg at Montgeron (just south of Paris) which was the home of Monet's patron, Ernest Hoschedé, a wealthy department store magnate and art collector and his wife Alice and their children.
While at Montgeron in 1876, Monet started the four paintings which were intended to decorate the main drawing room of the chateau. The other three paintings in the series are:
- The Hunt (aka The Shoot) - part of the Durand Ruel collection at the Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris
- Corner of the Garden at Montgeron which is in The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg
- The Pond at Montgeron which I understand is in a private collection. (The surface of this painting suggests that it still looks rather more like a start than a finished painting)
L to R: Corner of the garden at Montgeron, The Hunt, Pond at Montgeron
Images from the Atheneaum
The lives of the Monet and Hoschedé would later become very much intertwined following Ernest's bankruptcy (the following year). Ernest's art collection (including Monet's paintings) was auctioned off and Ernest, Alice, and their children moved into a house in Vétheuil with Monet, Monet's first wife Camille, and their two sons. Alice Hoschedé eventually became Claude Monet's second wife after Camille's death in 1879 and Ernest's in 1891.
The two families went through a lot together and I guess at the end of the day Monet, Alice and their children had a lot to be thankful about in one way and another.
However, one does rather wonder if Monet ever got paid for these commissioned works............
Best wishes to all my American readers - I hope you have a great turkey, that all your commissions pay up on time and that you have a really wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! :)