portrait de madame x

Monet on the Run - 3. Gaudibert
The late 1860′s had been very depressing for Monet. He couldn’t provide for his young family and was dependent on whatever help he could get from anyone he could think of. At times he felt really desperate.

I was so upset yesterday, that I was stupid enough to hurl myself into the water. Fortunately no harm was done. (Letter to Frédéric Bazille on June 29, 1868).

But Monet was too good a swimmer to drown and his courage got the better of his despair.

And a promising opportunity was coming his way too. Louis-Joachim Gaudibert, a wealthy man had invited him to Le Havre. He had been impressed by Monet’s earlier modest successes at the Salon and wanted Monet to paint portraits of his wife, his son and himself.
It wouldn’t be the last time that Mr. Gaudibert came to his rescue.

Claude Monet, Portrait de Madame Gaudibert, 1868. Oil on canvas, 216 x 138 cm. Musée d’Orsay, Paris