Recognized as one of the most distinguished artists to be associated with Abstract Expressionism and as a leading exponent of the gestural style, Joan Mitchell is also often connected by art historians to French painters Monet, van Gogh, Matisse and Cézanne. This largely owes to the fact that she chose, after growing up in Chicago and living in New York after graduating from university, to live in France. From 1955 until 1959 she divided her time between New York and Paris and painted in both cities, but thereafter painted in France only. In 1967, Mitchell purchased a two-acre estate in Vétheuil, a small village northwest of Paris, on a hillside overlooking the Seine. The gardener's cottage on the property had at one time been the home of Claude Monet, which prompted many art historians to suggest an affinity between her paintings and those of Monet.
Fig. 1 Claude Monet, Weeping Willow and Water Lily Pond, 1914-1919, Private Collection