Claude Monet

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Analysis of Selected Works by Claude Monet
Claude Oscar Monet, the famous impressionist painter was born on November 14, 1840. Even though his birthplace was Paris, he grew up in Le Havre, a port town located in North Western France. In his childhood phase, he didn’t have any contact with anyone who would play a significant role as an artistic influence in Monet’s life. Monet’s parents were completely against the arts, and because of that, he had to deal with a lot of sacrifices in life, from earning a meager salary, to having a constrained relationship with his parents. Monet developed a liking to his future source of income, and most importantly, his passion for art in most amusing manner. During his schooldays, he used to loathe spending time in the classes, and to keep himself occupied, he drew caricatures of his teachers. Surprisingly, he got noticed through his drawings, and commenced his career in art by working at a framing store. Monet had already painted the same subject in different moods. However, as he matured as a painter, his depictions of atmospheric influences were increasingly concerned not only with specific effects, but with overall color harmonies that allowed for an autonomous use of rich color. So as to return to a painting at the correct moment, "on occasion Monet took the precaution of writing the time of day on the back of his canvases for the Early Mornings on the Seine series, he chose to paint at and before dawn, which made it 'an easier subject and simpler lighting than usual', because at this time of day the effects did not change so rapidly; however, this involved him getting up at 3:30 a.m., which seems to have been unprecedented even for so inveterate an early riser as Monet."(House,143) Thus, it can be said that the ‘The Houses of Parliament’ painting is considerably devoid of realistic detail due to being painted from the perspective of an impressionist, although one needs to scratch the surface to realize it’s true depth. Monet spent quite a few hours with his brush, putting in great efforts to create this very painting. Monet drew a number of views of the famous Thames River in the late months of 1899 and the beginning of 1900 and the year that followed, which he created from the Savoy Hotel. He was one to capture a plethora of angles; for instance, he painted Waterloo Bridge and Charing Cross Bridge to the east and to the west, respectively. Commencing in the month of February in the year 1900, he used the terrace of Saint Thomas's Hospital on the opposite side of the river to place his easel in order to spare some time aside to sketch the Houses of Parliament. (Metropolitan Museum of Arts,NY) While in London, Monet produced nearly a hundred canvases, reportedly moving from one to another as the light changed. He continued to work on these paintings in his studio at Giverny. In May 1904, thirty-seven were exhibited at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris, including this view of the Houses of Parliament cloaked in dense fog.(Metropolitan Museum of Arts,NY) Monet revolutionized and renovated various axioms in the world of painting. He held the belief that the ‘real version’ of a body could never be successfully painted as it’s appearance would alter with the varied forms of light and due to differences in the ambient air. Another factor that added to his belief was that one’s viewpoint of another object changes when the object moves and changes position. His affinity towards nature is imbued in all his paintings and can be located throughout his entire work. The style Monet used in his paintings was impressionism and thus, his paintings looked like as if they were capturing a momentary perception of an object. He painted works directly and completely on the spot. Moreover, his objects appeared muddled because he showed the blurred reality of dynamic vision as dictated by movement, light, and air (Seitz, 22). Ultimately, Monet attained such a high mastery of Impressionism that his...
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