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Paul Hayes Tucker
The small suburban town of Argenteuil, situated down the Seine from Paris, was the single most important site for the birth of impressionism. Situated only 15 minutes by train from the Gare Saint-Lazare, this working town beckoned as a convenient weekend excursion destination. Claude Monet first settled at Argenteuil in 1871 and was joined at various times by Auguste Renoir, Édouard Manet, Alfred Sisley, Eugène Boudin, and Gustave Caillebotte. In the intensively creative years of the 1870s, Monet and his fellow avant-garde painters in Argenteuil perfected the classic impressionist style, conceived the first impressionist exhibition of 1874, and hatched strategies for the promotion of their art. Bringing together more than 50 paintings, many of which have rarely been lent by their private owners, this catalog accompanied the first exhibition ever dedicated to the impressionists’ time in Argenteuil.