Regattas at Argenteuil, 1872 - by Claude Monet

More than 40 years after boating became fashionable, Monet took great care with his depictions of boats of all descriptions. Here, he carefully crafts racing boats on the Seine - they competed at Argenteuil from the 1850s onward - and their magnificence in this masterpiece is a stunning portrayal. Many spectators were brought to Argenteuil for the racing by train - which linked the small rural community to the city.

Regattas at Argenteuil, 1872 is one of around 170 that Monet created during his time in Argenteuil (where more than half include the Seine). He cleverly gives the water movement by fragmenting or separating his brushstrokes. He was seeking to provide the fluidity of the air and water but he did find the ever-changing light a challenge. Despite this, he always beautifully captured the nuances and the vibrancy of the subject and themes he worked on Both Monet and his contemporary, Renoir, were fascinated with the sails of the boats that they captured in their paintings. They would often paint the same boats from the same spot and sought to overlook the detail in favor of an abstract rendering of light. Many commentators believe that Monet and Renoir working together helped the two artists to take their creations to new and innovative plains that they may not have achieved if not spurred on by the other.