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Claude Monet’s Style and Techniques in Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil and Morning on the Seine near Giverny Essay

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Updated: Dec 21st, 2018

Claude Monet is one of the most famous representatives of the French Impressionism who determined the basic principles of this movement in art. Thus, to analyze the works by Monet, it is necessary to refer to the particular features of Impressionism as well as the specific techniques used by the artist. It is possible to observe several basic themes in the works by Monet. Many paintings of the artist are inspired by the summer landscapes and vivid pictures of Monet’s garden.

The artist worked basing on plein-air painting in order to depict all the changes in the light and colors of the natural objects. Although Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil (1876) and Morning on the Seine near Giverny (1897) belong to different periods of Monet’s working and reflect rather diverse approaches to painting the landscapes and well-known places, there are some similarities in the works the focus on which allows speaking about the artist’s specific style in art.

Impressionism is characterized by the unique brushwork and color play. The artist’s garden at Argenteuil is the source of the continuous inspiration for Claude Monet. Thus, the garden is depicted in the series of the artist’s paintings.

Furthermore, the artist’s wife Camille is the model for many Monet’s paintings which are characterized by the transparency and lightness of colors associated with the intense sunlight effects (Hagen and Hagen 389-390). Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil (1876) is distinctive in relation to the particular features of the composition and color contrasts.

The impressive hollyhocks are depicted in the centre of the composition. The basic red and green colors used to present the hollyhocks are rather dark, but their contrast provides the necessary intensity for the light and color play. From this point, the figure of Camille standing under the tree is rather pale, and she does not attract the viewers’ attention at first sight (Bailey 74). The background of the painting is the depiction of a pink house.

The usage of light colors for depicting the background is correlated with the color scheme of the sky and Camille’s dressing. Pink and blue colors are virtuously mixed to emphasize the intense of the sunlight in the painting. It is necessary to note that the artist often mixed colors on the canvas intending to achieve the necessary vibrant brightness of colors and their tones (Tucker 90).

The color scheme of Morning on the Seine near Giverny (1897) is rather different. In spite of the fact Monet uses the natural earth colors rarely, the whole painting is presented in the most natural colors which reflect the changes in light typical for the morning on the Seine. The dark greenish colors of the foliage accentuate the transparency of the water depicted in the painting. Pale tones of the sky are reflected in the mirror of the water.

Thus, the water alley among the dark green foliage is in the centre of the painting’s composition (Levine 185-187). If the artist depicts the sunlight effects as dazzling in Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil with references to the figure of Camille and almost invisible pink house, the sunlight in Morning on the Seine near Giverny is full of the morning softness and paleness. However, the delicate and subtle combination of blue and pink colors is presented in both the paintings.

Although the differences in the colors used are observed in the paintings, the artist’s technique is recognizable and can be discussed in detail. In spite of the colors’ intensity, the combination of blue and pink colors in the paintings is rather blinking and vibrating. Moreover, the depth of the dark green colors is presented with the help of the artist’s rapid brushwork (Levine 186).

It is possible to concentrate on the “energized handling” and pulsation of the colors and brushstrokes reflected in the paintings (Bailey 74). Monet’s foliage in two paintings is rather natural in color. Nevertheless, this effect is achieved not because of the usage of ordinary colors and tones, but because of the play with shadows and color mixing.

If the intense colors in Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil seem to be dancing because of the rapid and pulsated brushstrokes, the colors of Morning on the Seine near Giverny are softer and deeper. The brushwork can be discussed as more stable. To paint his works, Monet tried to use only several basic colors, and he impressively combined them to provide the necessary diversity (Tucker 58-60).

Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil (1876) and Morning on the Seine near Giverny (1897) are the great examples of Claude Monet’s style, and these works can be also discussed as typical for the French Impressionism. All the basic elements such as the rapid brushwork and the unusual combination of bright and transparent colors are presented in these paintings.

Furthermore, the works reflect the artist’s concentration on plein-air painting with the help of which it is possible to depict natural objects affected by the light of different intensity.

Works Cited

Bailey, Colin. The Annenberg Collection: Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. USA: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009. Print.

Hagen, Rose, and Rainer Hagen. What Great Paintings Say. USA: Taschen, 2003. Print.

Levine, Steven. Monet, Narcissus, and Self-Reflection: The Modernist Myth of the Self. USA: University of Chicago Press, 1994. Print.

Tucker, Paul. Claude Monet: Life and Art. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. Print.

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"Claude Monet’s Style and Techniques in Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil and Morning on the Seine near Giverny." IvyPanda, 21 Dec. 2018, ivypanda.com/essays/claude-monets-style-and-techniques-in-camille-monet-in-the-garden-at-argenteuil-and-morning-on-the-seine-near-giverny/.

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IvyPanda. "Claude Monet’s Style and Techniques in Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil and Morning on the Seine near Giverny." December 21, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/claude-monets-style-and-techniques-in-camille-monet-in-the-garden-at-argenteuil-and-morning-on-the-seine-near-giverny/.

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IvyPanda. 2018. "Claude Monet’s Style and Techniques in Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil and Morning on the Seine near Giverny." December 21, 2018. https://ivypanda.com/essays/claude-monets-style-and-techniques-in-camille-monet-in-the-garden-at-argenteuil-and-morning-on-the-seine-near-giverny/.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'Claude Monet’s Style and Techniques in Camille Monet in the Garden at Argenteuil and Morning on the Seine near Giverny'. 21 December.

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