Analysis of Claude-Oscar Monet's Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur

Topics: Blue, Color scheme, Color Pages: 3 (1145 words) Published: October 5, 2010
In this project Group 7 examined the seascape through formal elements in Claude-Oscar Monet's Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur. It is oil on canvas seascape painting from 1865. The depiction of the light from the sky, in the form of the color blue, is the dominant formal element that catches our attention at first sight of this image. The intention is to also describe the white sailboat in the background with the seagulls flying around it because it catches the eye second. The painter, Monet, uses a number of elements to make a very complex painting. These elements are employed all over. This is considered a very successful painting and it is very exciting to study this wonderful work of art. The dominant formal element that catches the eye is the profound color displayed in the sky, which seems to peek through as it is illuminated by the surrounding white clouds. To begin with, the artist uses a monochromatic color scheme. He uses one single color in most of the painting with various darker shades, grayer tones, and paler tints of the main color, which in this case is blue. Monet seems to use this color to its full extent. For example, a bright blue is used in the center top of the painting where the sunlight seems to be coming out, and a much darker blue almost black is used in the bottom left corner of the water where no sunlight seems to be reflected. This painting uses the shapes of the clouds to shield the sun’s rays in a way that resembles a sheath for the sword, only this time the sheath holds the sunlight and the blue sky themselves. And through the light’s revealing, the single small incandescent boat in the far distance is readily noticed. Within the sailboats and the waves forms is the shape of triangles. The tops of the houses also have triangular shapes to them. The oval shape of the flying birds resembles the clouds and adds to the skyline a lively repetition that draws the eye towards the lone ship in the distance. As the waves seem to move to...
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