Lilacs, Grey Weather - Following periods spent in England and Holland, Monet went back to France and tried to set up home outside Paris. He found what he wanted in a house in Argenteuil, near to the railway station and the Seine. The spring of 1872 brought magnificent blossoms to the orchards and gardens and so Monet spent much time in his own garden. There he painted some figures among the flowers: Camille on the left, along with two other individuals. Monet and Sisley also spent time together painting the features surrounding the house in Argenteuil. But the garden and its lilacs became, for Monet in particular, the means of treating a subject under various light conditions. Detailed precision thus gives way to the power of the imagination, and the blending of tones makes the figures and vegetation merge into one another.
Claude Monet (1840 – 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant).