Nearly a century since his passing, we celebrate the birthday of Claude Monet, born November 14th,1840. Monet was a French painter known for his leadership in the Impressionist movement. Beginning in the 1860s, this group of artists were interested in painting outdoors, or en plein air, in order to capture natural light, color, and atmosphere. The Impressionists loved scenes of leisure in daily life, rendering the beauty of a fleeting moment with loose brushwork, almost appearing unfinished.
This study for Monet’s Le Barque bleue (1887) outlines two female figures. A vertical line emphasized by several pencil marks cuts the rowboat in half, likely separating the women from the rower of the boat. This odd, but intentional, crop and strong diagonal were characteristic of Impressionist works, influenced by Japanese woodcuts as they were popularized in Europe.
Guest author: Curatorial fellow Katy Turner