Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"La Promenade"

Picture taken from

Claude Monet is best known for his painting of water lilies. Yet I think that Monet's portraits of people are underrated. This piece painted by Monet in 1875 is titled "La Promenade." Out of all the pieces in Monet's collection, this piece I like the best. 

One thing that I find interesting about this artwork is the view point. You view the woman as if you are laying in the grass and looking up at her. Her gaze pierces you. Another interesting thing about this painting is the shadows in the grass. One shadow is obviously from the woman, but there are two others that have no owner. Are there two people standing beyond us? Or is this just a shadow cast by a cloud? This gives the piece a sense of mystery, like you do not know the entire story. The young boy stands in the background almost eerily, and we don't completely understand what he is doing there. This makes the painting feel almost uncomfortable to look at. Something I feel is fantastic about this piece is the way Monet has painted the wind blowing through the woman's cloths. You can almost feel the wind as if you were there. 

Claude Monet was an impressionist, yet this painting is so clear to me. I can see, by play of light, the folds in the woman's dress and each blade of grass. The technique Claude used for each stroke seems to be effortless and light, giving the painting a smooth and airy feeling. I could stare at this painting for hours, always finding something interesting. 

From first glance this painting is but a light scene in an open field, but when you look closely, much more is uncovered. 

1 comment:

  1. Some of the impressionists did create paintings that we could see, for example Degas' artwork is very clear, but he is known for being a impressionist because of his use of color. Personally I do not know much about Monet or his paintings, just that some of my art teachers wanted me to like his work. It is too bad that you did not touch on why he was known as an impressionist.
    This piece is very visual and aestetically appleasing because it is not how we normally view others. I really liked how you touched on the mystery of the shadows.