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Springtime

Claude Monet (1840-1926)

1886

Oil on canvas

64.8 x  80.6 cm 

PD.2-1953

 

Springtime was painted by Claude Monet in his garden in Giverney, France, on a beautiful spring day in 1886. It shows his 18 year old step daughter Suzanne Hoschede talking to his son Jean Monet. 

The painting is a good example of the revolutionary painting technique that Monet and other Impressionist artists developed. Monet often worked outside in the open air, and so the paint is applied quickly to capture the changing effects of the sunlight. Monet described his interest in light and colour, 

‘When you go out to paint, try to forget what object you have before you- a tree, a house, a field, or whatever. Merely think here is a square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact colour and shape, until you have your own naïve impression.’

Monet experimented with contrasting and complementary colours to create different effects. In this painting the yellowy green of the grass is contrasted with the red and purple on the figure of Suzanne and with the purple shadows on the tree trunks. This emphasizes the brilliance of the spring light falling in shadows on the grass.

Look, Think, Do

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