Pr1-R.P: Sires with the Landscape

Claude Monet 1840-1926

French, Impressionist

Monet was the founder of the 19th century art movement Impressionism. He concerned himself with with trying to capture the atmosphere in landscape painting. By this I mean he wanted to show the temperature, air quality and pressure, weather conditions and visibility he encountered whilst depiction his subject. How light conditions change the appearance and colour of objects and there cast shadows was of up most importance to him. His legacy of paintings show how he returned to the same view points over and over again to  record how the different time of year and day effected the scene. He proved nothing ever looks the same twice. Things are always changing with time if we only take the time to observe hem properly we can see. Monet really looked at his subject. For this he was reward by truly seeing the colours shapes and atmosphere surrounding them.

Saint-Lazare Station 1977

Monet’s first true series of is a collection of 10 oil paintings made from observations in and around Saint-Lazare station in the year 1977. He returned 10 years later in 1987 to produce one more painting of the scene. Although painted so much later it sits comfortably with the rest as the style and brush marks seem familiar to each other.

He was keen to make paintings in the city so as to be regarded with Manet, Degas and Caillebotte artist that recorded the modern world around them and the people and costumes of the their time.

Monet sought permission to sit and paint in the station. The position was ideal for him to explore the effects of changing light through the glass and the steam from the engines as well as incorporating a record of social achievement in the impressive streamers and engineered steel making the building itself.

Picture 10

Saint-Lazare Station 1877

Picture 8

Exterior 1877

Picture 6

Exterior view 1877

Picture 9

Arrival of Train 1877

Collectively the paintings show Monet’s fascination wit light filtered through the atmosphere effecting colour. The steam has been recreated with swirling circular brush strokes in white tints. Some of the paintings are verge towards an abstracted view making them more impressionistic whilst others seem more soiled in there elements.

The colours used are mostly cool blues balanced with cool yellow to reds. One stands out for me which is brilliant and bright seemingly bathed in light. Ultramarine is mixed it Wight for the main plum of smoke. The painting looks to be dived in thirds horizontally by the grid of the roof in the top third. The ground and tracks in the bottom. The virtually central steam train punctuates into the middle third which is occupied with the horizon line. Mist covered buildings are barley visible through this. The tracks and roof grid give Monet some nice devices to show perspective and therefore depth in the painting.

Grainstacks 1889-1891

Monet painted around 25 paintings of haystacks. He began this series at the end of summer 1889. He returned to paint the stacks in the changing weather conditions and at different times of the day so the light and colours are never the same. By spring of 1891 he had finished with his chronology of the changing stacks.

In this series he focusses on one or two stacks. They seem to take on a personality of their own. With the colours used not only suggesting light and temperature but giving a mood to the stacks. The stakes and shadows are never the exact same hue twice.

Picture 10

Grainstacks at Giverny, Morning Effect 1989

Picture 8

Grainstacks 1890

Picture 9

Grainstacks, Summer Morning Effect 1890

Picture 4

Grainstacks at the end of the day, Autumn 1891

Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge 1897-1926

By changing his position in relation to the stacks and the direction he faced he changed the arrangement of items in the paintings. We know he moved around the stacks to position himself in different places to paint as the back ground trees always look different. It shows how getting up early to paint, or going out at the end of the day can provide the artist with exceptional light conditions. Enhancing the spectrum into vivd hues.

The Water lilies series is particularly interesting because it remained a subject he returned to for most of his life. Along with the Japanese bridge which is incorporated in some of the water lily scenes. The pond was in his garden so was easily assessable. Especially as he reached old age.

There are approximately 250 water Lillie paintings that are known of. Some of  them are on a grand scale. Such as ‘Reflection of clouds on the water Lilly pond’ which hangs in the MOMA. I was lucky enough to have seen this in the flesh when I was much younger. It consists of three horizontal canvases. It’s combined dimensions are 1276 x 200 cm.

Picture 11

The Japanese Bridge (The Bridge in Monet’s Garden) 1890-1896

Picture 12

The Japanese Bridge (the Water-Lily Pond) 1897-1899

Picture 13

The Bridge over the water-lily pond 1905

Picture 14

The Japanese Bridge at Giverny, 1926

hard to generalise with these as there are so many. But I think they have a strong sense of light and dark at there core. Something I must be aware of when tackling landscapes of my own. Note to self – Look for darkest are then lightest area and try to get differences in the mid values.

Camille Pissarro 1830-1903 Danish-French, Impressionist, Postimpressionist

Camille Pissarro Produced many realistic landscapes. As his career progressed he started experimenting with a more impressionistic style and pointillism. Pissarro’s work was considered ground braking for the time as he sort to depict everyday people in there every day setting in natural posses often at work.

He was hugely admired by his piers such as Cezanne, Gauguin and Renoir.  Not just for his forward thinking artistic approaches but also as a wise and compassionate human being. He is often said to be the Father of Impressionism and Post- impressionism and was instrumental in connecting the members of each of these movements.

Picture 1

Like Monet, Pissarro did the majority of his painting plain air. Above is an example of his earlier painting before he got a bit more experimental with techniques used. Looking through his paintings I see he has a really mastery for capturing changing skies and a strong feel for colour.
Over the ten year period from 1881-1891 he produced a series of paintings, many landscapes in the pointillist style. His experimentation with this style range form the lose and expressive with larger paint marks visible on the still showing white back ground to much tighter works with many tiny pixels of paint creating the finished piece.
Picture 3
Picture 4 Picture 6 Picture 7Pissarro also left a selection of pastel drawings. These are of interest as it is a drawing course. Both pastels and pointillism are methods I can use. I am still keen to explore marker and felt tip further using pointillism. I will go on to take another look at Van Gogh dash mark landscapes.
And here are a few chalk drawings and sketchy stuff from Pissarro that I’d like to keep in the front of mind for the landscape section. Its very nice looking a paintings but a bit frustrating as drawing media is more limited for colour mixing and actual texture.
Picture 1 Picture 2Picture 15 Picture 16 Picture 17

About Emma Perring

Artist, oil painter

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