Woman with a parasol by Claude Monet

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Czanne once described Monet as "only an eye- yet what an eye". Monet, who remained a lifelong devotee of Impressionism, had an acute sensitivity to light, color and all visual sensations. Monet sought to portray the essence of what the eye saw in a moment, and this is very apparent in the particular work chosen for discussion: Woman with a Parasol.


He held that the first real look at the motif was likely to be the truest and most unprejudiced one. (Carpenter, 2007)
Woman with a Parasol was painted during one of the most fertile early phases of Monet's career, in the early 1870s when he took up residence in Argenteuil, a place of picturesque countrysides. The brilliance of the colors used, and the style in which they were used were characteristic of Monet in this period.
"In his Argenteuil paintings of 1874 Monet achieved a greater luminosity than ever before. His colors became brighter and richer, his execution full of vigor. His effects were not, like those of Manet, provided by brilliant accents in generally low-keyed harmonies; the whole scale of his values was concentrated on the greatest purity of high colors, among which the brightest constituted the dominant note". (Rewald,1961)
The subject is Monet's family: his wife Camille and son, Jean outdoors on a picnic in en plein air, or outdoors. Monet, more often than not, liked to paint landscapes, or people in casual poses in a natural background caught in a moment. Camille is captured in this painting in a manner that is not posed, but completely natural, spontaneous. ...
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