Claude Monet 1840-1926 BACK

Woman with Parasol, Madame Monet and Her Son
oil on canvas 100x81cm
National Gallery of Art, DC

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MONET, Woman with Parasol

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Silhouetted against a dazzling, azure blue sky, Monet's wife, Camille, and their eight-year-old son, jean, stand high above us atop a hill whose dramatic presence is enhanced by the rich color and forceful brushwork that Monet employs to suggest its dense, unkempt character. We are clearly en plein air on a late spring or early summer day, when the air is crisp and clean and the earth 'Joins with the sky to celebrate nature's consummate splendor...

The greatest informality, however, is found in the extraordinary way Monet describes the vast, boundless space of the sky. No two areas are alike, as Monet's brush dips, turns, rises, falls, scuds, flips, rushes left, right, diagonally, each time with varying amounts of paint. It is as if he were trying to suggest the infinite manifestations of light and air, those invisible, intangible forces that activate the site and define the moment.
excerpt from Impressionists at Argenteuil

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