During the summer of 1869, Monet and Renoir frequented La Grenouillère, a popular resort on the river Seine near Paris. While there, Monet made sketches for his dream painting of the baths at La Grenouillère. Two known paintings show his work from this period: “Bain à la Grenouillère” and “Bathers at La Grenouillière.” Both are set against a backdrop of floating restaurants and boats available for hire.
Monet’s use of repetitive elements in “Bain à la Grenouillère,” such as patterns created by the reflections in the water, enhances its descriptive properties. The brushstrokes weave a fabric that captures not only the scene but also its mood. He plunges us into an atmosphere where people are enjoying themselves diving or swimming amid picturesque surroundings.
The resort is considered to have been discovered by artists, writers, musicians, and performers about a decade earlier. Renoir also painted similar scenes during his time there with Monet. At that time, both artists encountered financial struggles even though their attendance at La Grenoullière was inexpensive as it catered to middle-class customers.
Taken together with Woman in a Garden (1876), which also depicts La Grenouillere from another angle than his paintings mentioned above do so we can say that Monet created enduring imagery of this site over an extended period. Onlookers today behold bucolic scenes such as those represented vividly by Monet centuries ago.