The 1880s were a decade of transition for Monet, both personally and professionally. In 1883, Monet began what would be a life-long partnership with Alice Hoschedé, the wife of one of his patrons, Ernest Hoschedé, who had abandoned his family following his bankruptcy several years earlier. The next year, Monet made his first trip to Bordighera on the French-Italian border, where he painted this ravishing view of a group of sun-drenched villas. Monet’s letters to Alice during this trip reveal his single-minded obsession with faithfully recording his visual sensations while painting outdoors and his constant frustration with his inability to capture quickly enough the explosion of color revealed by the brilliant but ever-changing Mediterranean light.
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926) Villas in Bordighera, 1884
Oil on canvas, 29 × 36 3/8 in.
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Bequest of Katharine Dexter McCormick in memory of her husband, Stanley McCormick (1968.20.5)