Claud Monet, Vetheuil in Summer

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Claude Monet, the founder of nineteenth century French impressionism, shows his love of the plein-air (outdoor) approach to landscape painting in his oil on canvas painting, Vetheuil in Summer (1879). At first glance, the painting simply features houses reflecting vibrantly on the river, with the bright rays of the sun shining down on them. The painting is divided into a lower part and upper part by a riverbank, forming a bilateral symmetrical balance. It is like a snap shot of the small community it portrays, Vetheuil, in France. By stepping closer, the texture that is created the by short, thick brushstrokes of paint can be observed. The impasto technique creates a unitary-textured canvas surface with no clear contour of objects. The vagueness makes the painting more fluid and better able to capture the light and air of the landscape. The contrast between the smoothly painted sky and the rough surface makes the focal point on the brightest and most vauge part where the paint is textured and heavily layered. The short brush strokes allow various colors to exist side-by side with little mixing, which together create a vibrant surface and optical mixing of colors. The use of color also creates the perception of space. The far side of the hill is painted in a cooler color (baby blue and soft pale pink) with less detail. It seems like the sky is casting its colors over the shadowy areas. Monet uses bright colors (even on shadows), soft contour lines and the painterly method to translate the soft and luminous effects of nature. Monet portrayed more light on the front ground (water) by depicting it with brighter colors. The middle ground is painted in greater detail while the background is painted in relatively less detail and is darker. The capture and placement of the light directs the viewer’s eye from the front to the back while delivering a sense of the motion of

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