Blanche Hoschede-Monet, born in 1865, was both the step daughter and daughter-in law of Claude Monet, and the second daughter of Alice and Ernest Hoschede. Ernest Hoschede was a successful businessman and art patron but was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1877. Ernest, Alice, and their children moved into a house in Vétheuil with Monet, Monet’s first wife Camille, and the Monets’ two sons, Jean and Michel. Ernest, however, spent most of his time in Paris and Claude Monet and Alice became lovers. After Camille Monet’s death in 1879, Claude Monet and Alice (along with the children from the two respective families) continued living together at Poissy and later at Giverny and married in 1892.
Blanche discovered painting at the age of 11. In the summer of 1882 Claude Monet rented a summer house in Pourville and Blanche started to paint next to him. She became Monet’s assistant and pupil, often carrying his easel and his canvases on a wheel barrow, and then set her own easel and painted. Monet enquired in 1884, when Blanche was 19, “Has Blanche been painting, and has she been making progress?”
Blanche began submitting works to the Salon in 1888, but that year she was not accepted. Seven of her paintings appeared at the Salon des Indépendants in 1905, where Durand-Ruel purchased one of her works.
She adopted an almost pure form of impressionism, painting for her own pleasure. At times it was difficult to distinguish her work from Monet’s especially during her first period in Giverny (between 1883 and 1897). The palette, brushes, paint and canvases came from Claude Monet and her subjects were often Monet’s garden, and its surroundings.
Blanche Hoschede married Monet’s elder son Jean in 1897, and the couple moved to Rouen where she often exhibited her works. Jean died in 1914, at which point Blanche moved back into the Monet household; she abandoned her activities as an artist to take care of Monet during the final 20 years of his life in a role much like an administrator.
She began painting and exhibiting again after Monet’s death, exhibiting at the Gallery Bernheim-Jeune in Paris in 1927 and 1931. She died in 1947, and had continued to paint up until her death.
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