Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 11:51 PM
From the start of his long career Monet worked mostly in the open air, concentrating on scenes that he knew well. Wild Poppies was painted at Argenteuil, a pretty riverside village just outside Paris, where the artist and his family settled in 1871. Monet loved to paint the boats on the Seine with their sails reflected in the river's rippling waters like those in The Bridge at Argenteuil.
Such tranquil, rural scenes contrast strikingly with the crowded streets of Paris shown in his paintings of the Boulevard des Capucines and the Rue Montorgueil. But the effects of light and atmosphere gradually became more important to Monet than the objects in his paintings. In the Gare St-Lazare, for example, it was the smoke not the train which most fascinated the artist.
In later life, when Monet moved to Giverny, he developed the unique format of pictorial series numerous versions of the same view seen under different lighting conditions. These were designed to be exhibited as a group, and since each canvas captured a particular instant, together they recorded time passing. Poplars and Rouen Cathedral each form part of a series, but the most spectacular of all is the series devoted to Waterlilies. Monet's exotic water garden was virtually his only subject during the last 20 years of his life, inspiring some of his most hauntingly beautiful works.
This little painting of Monet's wife Camille and son Jean walking through a field of poppies was shown at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. Camille and Jean appear twice in the painting, a device which draws the eye repeatedly to the triangular hillside of bright red poppies.
Monet may have worked from a photograph when painting this wintry scene. On the right, a top-hatted figure looks down from a window; below, a dash of pink may represent a cluster of balloons.
Monet lived at Argenteuil, near Paris, for seven years and made several paintings of sailing boats on the Seine. In this tranquil scene, the impression of broken reflections on the shimmering water is conveyed by well-defined brushstrokes of pure colour.
This railway station was the Paris terminus of the line from Argenteuil and Monet painted it several times. He captured its atmosphere with clouds of steam and smoke rising from the engine, and shadows thrown by the glass roof rather than a precise, detailed likeness.
This bird's-eye view of a Parisian street, decked out in celebration of a national holiday, was painted rapidly on a balcony overlooking the scene. The red, white and blue stripes of the French flags form vibrant patches of colour, and in the centre of the picture a slogan in blue reads 'Vive la France'.
A row of tall poplars lining the River Epte near Monet's home in Giverny fascinated the artist, and he painted them many times from his boat. In this late stage of his career Monet's Impressionist style grew increasingly abstract and decorative.
Like Poplars, this painting formed part of a series: Monet painted the same view over and over again, under changing light conditions. The year after this version was completed, 20 different canvases were exhibited together, covering the whole day from dawn to dusk.
Art Museum, Missouri
Monet painted the waterlily pond at the bottom of his garden hundreds of times: it became virtually his only 'model' for the last 20 years of his life. He focused increasingly on this small area, painting ever larger pictures. This 14-foot long canvas was originally the central panel of three, forming a massive 40-foot painting. The lilies themselves are not immediately recognizable they dissolve into a magical mixture of delicate colours.
Writer - Marshall Cavendish