Monet impressionism genre and technique was based on the major themes of 18th century which were naturalism tendencies emphasized with empiricism and the unity of culture, the comprehension of nature.
Impressionism era strengthened the morality of artist in conviction that objectivity to reality was extended by pervasive impact of social and personal circumstances on perception of this reality and precise text interpretation was grasped only in the end of 19th century. The verbal explanations of art tendencies started on from 18th century socio-emotional situation define the choice of genres and techniques boundaries.
Nostalgia for Nature dictated the emotional influence on artist’s personality to look for outdoors beauty while tendency contradiction was settling indoors so as modern beauty was mainly found in the house. A further advantage of being a studio artist made Monet easier to meditate indoors than outdoors: so the studio atmosphere helped Monet to invent a progressive kind of landscape picture.
For instance, the painting “Bathers a la Grenouillere” is a distinct Monet tendency on coloristics of the palette. Claude often divided his canvases half by half so that two plans of reality were joined by supposed horizon line. Two reality plans of the whole landscape were often exposed by placing poplars or other trees above water, with their reflections on the depicted water. This method of designing Nature perspective helped Monet to define social component on the canvas. This were humans depicted on the edge of two plans crossing, the line of horizon. This evidently explains academic and practical understanding of realistic perspective space rendered by the artist on the surface of length and width fusion. The technique offered innovation in picture perception. The visual basis was determined by individual artistic view. Panorama as object is realistic referring to realistic dimensions, proportions and space progression but as subject it is extremely renewed. Monet provides the format of technique with content of intensive colors playing with contrast of green and red, black and white, spots of illuminated portions and shady masses of panoramic view. The effect of collage intrudes with the variety of color mixing.
Adding of black and white colors to basis gives the impression of sun rays distribution on object. The reflection of the light on uneven surface brings the intensity of contrast. The shivering of water and leaves hustling are two main plans of black and white contrast. Sun light penetration on this very landscape is likely designed by impression of artist finding himself through the summer holiday.
The third play of black and white was when these two contrasts were mixed into grey and added to basis. This is the plan of distant trees masses along the river. The illuminated spots of close lime-colored trees plan and distant intensively whitened blue and yellow reflections on river surface gives an impression of hot summer day with high level of moisture in the air. The plan of river-boats painted with much of green, navy and brown specializes the close distance and cover from sun penetration.
The horizon line introduced with human figures gives us a clear view of artist on social situation of his time. The 18th century style clothing of two ladies walking in direction of illuminated trees masses and the group of three dressed in 19th century fashion tendency hidden from sunlight by foliage. The three are likely watching the kids having fun on the surface of warm waters of river.
The rare intrusions of orange and red systemizes the division of summer and coming autumn. The technique of rude chaotic smear layers of color is explained by open-air, spontaneous painting.
“The Thames below Westminster” is one of the famous serial of misty London landscapes paintings. The observation of architecturally gothic London drowned in overgrowing mass of fog impressed the artistic nature of Claude so that he felt secure inside this way of reality.
The technique is exclusively recognizable. Smear effect of brush touch is preserved though a feeling of milky haze over the Houses of Parliament is explained by less contrast of black and white. The palette of the painting resides on balance of two main colors. Beige and grey balance creates the smooth texture of mist perception. Melancholic impression is supported by grey color adding.
Coloristically the space of landscape interpreted by Claude is divided into three distance plans. The furthest plan is presented by the fusion of beige and grey as basis of coloring the buildings of Westminster Abbey. This plan of reality coincides with horizon line of the panorama. The effect of mirage and mystery is generated simply of unclear silhouette and slight contrast of castles and bridge on the background of beige foggy mass.
The plan of two barges suspended on the milky surface of Thames gives the intermediary plan which gives an impression of distance and space. Monet invites his usual method of mirroring two realities. The reflection of fog mass on river surface creates the impression of perfecting the harmonized version of Nature (performed by River and Sky), Art (Architecture) and Human element (Figures on wooden pier).
The third plan is wooden pier with figures of men who likely are some type of dealers which supports the version that Monet impressions often include social element. Claude successfully manages to render the texture of materials in wood and concrete through the mild smear of brush. The pier is clearly made of wood and sidewalk on right hand is logically made of concrete which also specifies the contemporary time of artist.
Claude Monet is not accidentally chosen as one of the pioneers of Impressionism period. His paintings are reasonably evaluated as socially and historically appreciated. The emotive content of Monet paintings underplays in the limits of brush technique and choice on color palette, balance and contrast while the social context is viewed through the objects described on canvas.
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