Guy Rose (American, 1867-1925) Matin de Novembre, c. 1910
[Guy and Ethel Rose bought a stone cottage in Giverny in 1899. They spent many summers there over the next thirteen years. Guy’s painting style was deeply influenced by Claude Monet and his paintings of scenes in and around Giverny reflect this. Many American artists visited Giverny in these years in hopes of meeting and working with Monet. But Monet worked independently and interacted with only a few of these artists. One exception was Guy Rose, who probably met Monet through the artist Lilla Cabot Perry. Perry was a neighbor and became a close friend to Ethel and Guy Rose. She had moved to Giverny ten years earlier after seeing Monet’s work in a Paris Gallery. She eventually developed a close relationship with Monet and went on to befriend many American artists as they traveled through Giverny. We do not know how she came to this painting, but Matin de Novembrewas once owned by Lilla Cabot Perry.
Monet’s estate is located near a small branch of the Epte River. It is on this river that Monet painted The Boat at Giverny in 1887. The scene depicts three girls in one of Monet’s rowboats. This and another boat were fixtures on the estate and many artists used them as elements in their paintings. As the years passed, the boats were left unused and gradually became unusable. But their value compositionally remained and artists such as Rose, Frederick Frieseke, Louis Ritman, Edmund Greacen and Lawton Parker used them in several of their paintings. Guy Rose painted at least four different paintings from a similar vantage point along the Epte river in 1910. Each work depicts the scene in varying casts of light and color. No doubt Rose was thinking of Monet’s practice of painting the same scene at different times of the day in order to capture the changes in color and light.
In Matin de Novembre, much of the focus is on the water’s reflection. The painting appears monochromatic, and yet on closer inspection Rose has given the viewer a rich variety of subtle blues, greens, pinks, purple, lavender and yellows. He has no doubt captured the scene precisely as he found it on that early November morning. The stillness of the river and the absence of people add to the effect of a moody, calm morning. Rose loved the solitude of nature. As Ethel Rose wrote of her husband, he ‘loved the country and was always happy when alone and occupied’. Matin de Novembre typifies the classic Impressionist style as seen through the eyes of those witnessing Giverny at its grandest and most influential.]