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Leon Monet, brother of Claude

From March 15 to July 16, the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris is presenting an unprecedented exhibition dedicated to Léon Monet (1836-1917), the painter's somewhat forgotten brother. Both a color chemist, an industrialist and a collector, Léon Monet played a decisive role in the career of the artist. In 1872, when Claude Monet, back in Le Havre, painted Impression, rising sun, Léon founded the Industrial Society of Rouen and employed Jean, Claude's eldest son, as a chemist. He will bring all his life an active support to his brother and his impressionist friends.

Leon and Claude Monet. A nice family resemblance. © DP
Leon and Claude Monet. A nice family resemblance. © DP

With a "cordial and frank" character and a "lively and prompt" intelligence, Léon Monet brought together a collection of paintings, drawings and Japanese prints, which included the names of Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Blanche Hoschédé-Monet, Berthe Morisot, among the most illustrious, and which will become one of the most remarkable modern art ensembles in the Rouen region.

Léon Monet in the courtyard of his factory in Maromme with his nephew Jean (right). Private collection
Léon Monet in the courtyard of his factory in Maromme with his nephew Jean (right). Private collection

The exhibition catalog brings together an abundant and unpublished iconography, showing all the works from Léon Monet's collection, including a large selection of pages from Claude Monet's first sketchbook dated 1856. It also brings together photographs hitherto kept in family albums, alongside rare archival documents and color charts of colored fabrics with synthetic sparkles, testimonies of Léon's industrial activity.

Gustave Henri Colin. La plage des bains à Fontarrabie. Collection particulière.
Claude Monet. Portrait de Léon Monet 1874. © DP

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75006 Paris


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