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THE MEADOW SCENE

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Woman with a Parasol, turned right


Meadow Scene


Woman with a parasol turned left

  1. Now please turn back to the Parasol paintings and have a look at the broad, opaque strokes of the dresses and compare with the ‘Meadow scene’! These kinds of strokes are typical for Monet’s figure paintings. Again, we find parallels in some other paintings: “A most distinctive feature of Impressionist brushwork is the use of the tache, the coloured patch or stroke. In academic painting, forms could be smoothly modelled or linear; part of the Impressionist initiative was to define forms in clearly differentiated patches of colour, which gave the effect of light surrounding, and reflecting of objects rather than the specific shapes of the objects themselves. Notable examples in Monet’s work are the Bathers at La Grenouillère, The Beach at Trouville, in which the highlights on Camille’s dress appear to be almost abstract slabs of pale, thick paint, (Plate see this), and the Regatta at Argenteuil, 1872 (W 233), in which the whole scene is captured in broad, opaque strokes of brilliant colour.”, (Art in the Making, p.92).

    We would like to suggest another ‘notable example’: the ‘Meadow scene’!


    Regatta at Argenteuil

     


    Click HERE for a comparison of brushwork.

     

    Click below for some exciting colour comparisons between 'The Meadow Scene' and 'Cottage in Normande, c:a 1885'.


    »
    Overall colour comparison


    »
    Tree colours


    »
    Heightening effect


    Click HERE for still another colour and brushwork comparison.

  1. Now please take a close look at the figure in the boat. Is it not the same masterly treatment of light and shadow as we can see in the parasoll paintings? See the sun shining on, and through (!) her hat, on her shoulders, arms and legs. Observe the shadow from her hat, falling down at her breast.

    Please observe also the curl of her hair at her forehead and the little glimpse we see of her hair hanging down at her back. Now please look again at the two Parasol paintings. Where she stands turned right, we can see a small curl at her forehead, and the hair hanging down at her back. We also see it through her, under her arm (remember the ‘looking throughs’ from above?).


    Click for comparison

    In the other version we clearly see a small glimpse of the hair at her neck, just like at her neck in the ‘River Scene’. Again – these small characteristics were not painted by chance, they are, on the contrary, the leading features of the eminent, observing artist – Claude Monet!


    Click for comparison

Perfect balance is achieved by her kerchief, flying in the wind. We also get a feeling of “déjà vue” when we see the sun shining at it – isn't it much the same as the sun mingled willow leaves in the ‘River Scene’?

  1. In the turned-left version, (W 1077), Suzanne stands turned away from the sun. It seems like the wind is blowing harder. She is protecting herself more from the wind, than from the sun. The intensive shadow on the grass, we certainly recognise from our ‘Meadow scene’!

    Worth notifying is also how we can see the sun shining through (!) her parasol, in a similar way as through the hat in the ‘River scene’, and, furthermore, we have the same kind of shadow from the parasol, as from the hat in the ‘River Scene’! Please have a close look at the parasol and you will also recognise the same, easy, masterly painted outlines as in Suzanne’s dress and the table in the ‘Garden scene’.

    After having studied all these details, it is fascinating to make the same study of the details in the painting ‘Woman with a parasol’, from 1875, (W381), National Gallery of Art, Washington, (of which the above are reprises). Here we have Camille in full shadow with the sun shining from behind her. It is all there: the Shadow on the grass. The Sun glitter at her dress. The same outline of the parasol. Compare the colours in the dress here with the ‘Meadow scene’ and the colours at the shadow side of the dress.

    Press HERE for next page

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