8 de março de 2011

Claude Monet - Poppie field at Argenteuil

Poppie field at Argenteuil - 1873
Musee D'Orsee - Paris
Argenteuil is a small town, not very far from Paris where many painters from the Impressionist movement converged looking for the quietness and beautifulness of extended poppies fields which ended up on the banks of the river Sean. But Argenteuil would become also famous, among the artist community, because of the industrial booming that arised on its suburbs giving an interesting contrast on a wide palette of colors which varied between the intense country sight colors and the grays which so well characterized the industrial suburbs from the 19th century. These contrasting sights were extensively explored by artists and Argenteuil was very much looked not only because it aggregated these unique contrasts but also because it was on Paris ' s vicinities. Claude Monet was no exception among his colleagues and he also explored the colors of Argenteuil in a very fresh and vivid way, matching perfect stokes with beautiful blue skies and charming fields of scarlet poppies. This painting is one of my favorites and I absolutely agree with Emile Zola when he refers to Claude Monet’s style saying that “like a true Parisian Monet brings Paris to the countryside. He simple can’t help painting a landscape without including well-dressed ladies and gentlemen. Nature seems to lose Monet’s interest if it is not complemented with our references”. In fact, this is absolutely true and if we take some of Monet’s countryside paintings we always find lovely ladies, charming dresses and colorful umbrellas among peaceful and harmonious landscapes. Many of his paintings look like if they were the result of an instant photograph which immediately embraces the viewer placing us among the characters. On a later stage of his work we’ll realize that Monet will tend to the abstractionism focusing his imagination exclusively towards nature abandoning those graceful characters in his pictures. If you’d care to read about Monet's abstraccionism, you'll find here my impressions about the Madrid's exhibition, last June 2010.

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