On the left of the painting we can see a cock, a hen and a chick perhaps symbolising the fairy tale nature of the subject family.
In fact in the same sitting, Monet made a portrait of Manet at his easel, the whereabouts of this painting is currently unknown.
Also Auguste Renoir, another French Impressionist artist had joined his two fellow artists and was painting a portrait of Monet at his easel. (Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil, 1873).
Manet had become interested in Claude Monet and his Impressionist style of painting. Monet believed in using the outdoors to infuse his work with the spirit of nature. In 1874 the two families had moved close to one another, Manet at the family house in Gennevilliers and Monet in Argeteuil.
It must have been an industrious afternoon with all three artists painting, conversing, borrowing paints and looking for vantage points.
Renoir painted a close up of 'Camille Monet and Her Son Jean in the Garden at Argenteuil' 1874 complete with the Rooster. It is believed that Manet had lost patience with Renoir's intrusion and said, “He has no talent, that boy. Since he’s your friend, you should tell him to give up painting!”
His most famous works include A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882) and Olympia. (1863) Manet had close friends within the Impressionist movement including Berthe Morisot, a key figure in this vibrant collection of new artists.