Art history would probably have taken a different course if the jury of the Paris Salon had not turned down this painting by Monet in 1870. This rejection was followed four years later by the first exhibition of the Impressionists, where Monet presented the work. It shows his family, a guest and a maidservant during luncheon. The liberal brushwork that Monet will apply in ‘La Grenouillère’ a few months later is not yet visible. This is a private scene from everyday life, but the nearly monumental format chosen by the artist raises its status to that of history painting.
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