Art and Visual Culture
Term Paper, Second Submission
December 19th, 2012
“Garden at Sainte- Adresse, 1867”
Oscar Claude Monet painted “Garden at Sainte- Adresse” in 1867. Seven years later “after an art exhibition in 1874, a critic insultingly dubbed Monet’s painting style ‘Impression,’ since it was more concerned with form and light than realism, and the term stuck.” Not only did the term stick but gave both name and rise to a new style of painting introduced by Monet and others such as Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille. The “Garden at Sainte-Adresse” displays the artistic technique for which impressionism is now famous (“Claude Monet Biography”).
Monet was one of the most well-known painters in the history of art and in the Impressionist movement. Monet chose selected modern “histories in his figural works which drew everyday lives of his contemporaries, ignoring the traditional selection of literary subjects based on historical, mythological, or religious events from the past.” (Orr, Tucker, and Murray) His interest in art began at a tender age. In class he kept himself occupied by drawing caricatures of his teachers. Although he had his mother’s support to pursue art, his father preferred that he go into business. Monet grieved deeply when his mother passed away in 1857 (“Claude Monet Biography”).
In his community, Monet drew many of the town’s residents and became famous for his caricatures. Eugene Boudin, a local landscape artist, introduced Monet to the natural world, which he started to explore in his work. After Boudin introduced Monet to painting outdoors, Monet decided to move back to Paris to pursue his dream of art. He then enrolled in Academie Suisse as a student and met fellow artist Camille Pissarro who became his close friend for many years (“Claude Monet Biography”).
From 1861 to 1862, Monet was stationed in the military service although he was discharged because of health reasons. When he returned to Paris, he then studied with Charles Gleyre. He also met Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frederic Bazille. They all worked together and received advice from each other. Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille would also sometimes accompany Monet while he worked outdoors. Monet loved working outdoors where he could be inspired by nature (“Claude Monet Biography”). While working alongside Renoir and his other fellow artists, Monet continued to paint outdoors, carefully “observing and attempting to render the effects of bright light on surface shapes, colors, and shadows.” While painting along the Seine, Monet explored different forms of light, such as the way light reflects off of water, as well as the characteristics of light at different times of the day or in different atmosphere conditions (Orr, Tucker, and Murray 17). “The Garden at Sainte-Adresse” is an arrangement of radiance of color, capturing the vivid “sunlit clarity of air possible only by the sea… The picture plane functions as a transparent window onto the painted scene; however, the boldness of the brushwork allows flat strokes of bright red, yellow, and green to stand alone on the surface rather than to fall into place in the pictorial space.” There is brilliant tension between the “three-dimensional indicators and two dimensional shapes result, which heightens the scene of animations” such as the two flags and the smoke coming from the steamboats in the distance. During this time Monet’s work does not depend on conservative “western modes of pictorial arrangement” but is an early example of his “incorporation of design, which derived from Japanese prints” (Orr, Tucker, and Murray pg. 17). Monet painted “Sainte- Adresse” when he was 26, in the summer of 1867. He painted this canvas in a Sainte-Adresse garden with the view of Honfleur at the horizon. He and his friends were experimenting with new ways to capture modern life on canvas. The people shown in this painting were said to probably be...
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