Eye Candy for Today: Monet’s Springtime

Springtime, Claude Monet, Impressionist oil painting
Springtime, Claude Monet

Link is to zoomable version on the Google Art Project; downloadable version on Wikipedia; original is in the Walters Art Museum.

In this painting by Monet of his first wife and frequent model, Camille Doncieux, we can see the painter’s fascination with light and color.

The foliage is gesturally indicated, with mere suggestions of leafy texture. The background grass is just brushy patches of color.

Monet’s attention is on Camille’s face, and even more, on her clothing and the dappled sun effects on the dress and foreground grass. Monet has carried the pinks of the dress into the sun splashes in the green grass. Under his guidance, our eye sees it as natural.

The rendering of the dress is more subtle than it first appears, with shifting areas of almost complementary color held in check by careful matching of value.

The variation of color just in the bonnet is remarkable.

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