Monet's Garden At Giverny Essay

2624 words - 10 pages

Little did Eugène Boudoin know that when he first encouraged Monet to paint out of doors in 1858, it would lead to a revolution in the history of art for the entire world. Arguably the founder of Impressionism, Claude Monet took Boudoin's advice, slowly building the ideas and foundations for the Impressionist movement; he proceeded to paint the world around him in a completely new perspective, one of deep expression, unfiltered emotion, and immediate sensation. After a lifetime of travels, wars, and social experiences, Monet finally settled in Giverny, where he was able to reflect both emotionally and thematically on his work and come to terms with many of the issues that troubled him during the 1870's and 80's about industrialization, progress, and his relationship with nature and with society. His home in Giverny became his quiet retreat from the stresses of the external world, where the time passed easily and he could let his imagination have control over the whole domain. His last work before he began his concentration on the water lilies, Monet's Garden at Giverny, represents the evolution and culmination of both his physical and mental journey as a painter through the nineteenth century. Possessing elements from every era of his career, this painting marks an end to a chapter in Monet's life that was full of contrast, and it demonstrates where he has come from, all that he has seen, and what has lead him to this utopia in the French countryside.After close observation, the many layers to the composition of Monet's Garden at Giverny begin to unfold, the nuances revealing themselves through the simple organizational structure and unique style in which he painted the work. Initially, it seems as though the scene depicts a simple but pleasant summer day in a garden of blooming flower beds and luscious trees with two paths that run through the irises and back to the trees, defining the different planes of space. These two seemingly parallel paths dominate the canvas because of their strong definitions of color and texture; however, they appear to have two different functions in the painting. The first, more prominent path on the right side of the canvas leads to the trees in the middleground. The lines of these trails serve the dual purpose of directing the viewer around the composition and drawing the eye deeper into the literal and figurative meanings of the canvas. Monet peppered this work - and his garden - with compositional details that encourage active participation with the subject matter and instill an exciting quality to his work and the experience of regarding it. For example, disguised behind the trees in the background lies a house that does not immediately distinguish itself to the viewer because of its color and lack of detail. However, the farther path leads to the entrance of the house, thus calling attention to its existence. The slight traces of a building's outline begin to appear underneath the dense foliage, and it...

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