Blanche Hoschedé-Monet: In the Shadow of Claude Monet
A young woman, at the age of seventeen, found herself pushing a wheelbarrow full of canvases and an easel in the 1882 summer air. She was following her step father, Claude Monet, who, by a turn of events, was also her father-in-law. She already had six years of painting under her belt, as she had started to paint at age eleven, when she began to paint with Monet. They would set up together at various locations in Pourville, France, where Monet lived that summer. This summer of 1882 was the beginning of something great – as well as the start of something controversial.
Blanche Hoschedé-Monet had a confusing childhood. Hoschedé’s family began to live with Monet and his first wife when Hoschedé’s father lost his business. As her father was away in Paris for long amounts of time, Monet and Hoschedé’s mother grew in affection for each other. Monet had an affair with her mother, and when Monet’s wife died, they married thirteen years after living together.
Monet not only had an affair with Hoschedé mother, but he also denied Hoschedé the blessing of marrying John Leslie Breck, an American artist whose great achievement was to introduce a form of impressionism to the United States. Hoschedé and Breck enjoyed painting side by side, but, in 1892, he eventually left Giverny, France. Moreover, almost hypocritically, Monet gave his blessing to Hoschedé’s sister to wed a different American artist. Five years later, Hoschedé and Jean Monet, Claude Monet’s son, were married.
Hoschedé had a bout of victory in 1905 when, although rejected by the Salon in 1988, she was accepted into the Salon des Indépendants, where an acclaimed art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel bought her painting. Durand-Ruel said that in the future, Hoschedé’s works would be mistaken for Monet’s. He was absolutely right. Situations such as these why appraisers’ expertise, such as with MIR's, are needed.
When Hoschedé’s husband died in 1914, Hoschedé lived with Monet again, during the last two decades of his life, to care for him. After all the pain he had caused her, it is a wonder that she did this. She halted all her painting escapades to look after Monet. George Clemenceau, the Prime Minister of France, praised Hoschedé for looking after the renown painter in the last years of his life.
Hoschedé most likely thought about her paintings as she acted as caretaker for Monet, and what could have been if she had the opportunity to paint more. In her younger days after that first summer with Monet, her paintings appeared very similar to Monet’s, as it was often challenging to see the difference in them, especially since the pair shared the same art materials and the same scenery in plein air, or “outside.” In those days, Hoschedé had painted out of pure joy – a true testament to the impressionistic mindset. She had shown the world her pieces in Rouen, France at that time, where she went on exhibition.
An old woman at the age of sixty-two, and again at the age of sixty-six, had her pieces shown in Paris at the Gallery Bernheim-Jeune. This spurred her on to paint until her death at the age of eighty-two. Blanche Hoschedé-Monet, a talented artist, was hurt by Monet on many occasions – but he gave her renown and the great gift of painting. It is only fitting that the woman whom Monet took the father, as well as the love of, would one day be mistaken for him.
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“Blanche Hoschedé-Monet | Grainstack, Giverny, 1889 (1889) | Available for Sale.” Artsy, Artsy, 2018, www.artsy.net/artwork/blanche-hoschede-monet-grainstack-giverny-1889.
“Blanche Hoschedé-Monet | House and Garden of Claude Monet, Giverny (1911-1913) | Available for Sale.” Artsy, Artsy, 2018, www.artsy.net/artwork/blanche-hoschede-monet-house-and-garden-of-claude-monet-giverny.
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DeLay, Chelsea. “John Leslie Breck | Questroyal.” Questroyal Reginald Marsh Artist, 2018, www.questroyalfineart.com/artist/john-leslie-breck/.
ianswertocara. “Fake or Fortune S04 E02 Renoir.” YouTube, YouTube, 19 July 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VwW8qndXQ8.
Stamberg, Susan. “Durand-Ruel: The Art Dealer Who Liked Impressionists Before They Were Cool.” NPR, NPR, 18 Aug. 2015, www.npr.org/2015/08/18/427190686/durand-ruel-the-art-dealer-who-liked-impressionists-before-they-were-cool.