Monday, February 8, 2010


Claude Monet (1900)

"Paint what you really see, not what you think you ought to see; not the object isolated as in a test tube, but the object enveloped in sunlight and atmosphere, with the blue dome of Heaven reflected in the shadows" - Claude Monet

In Claude Monet's painting, Charing Cross Bridge, Overcast Day, we can see the sentiment that he provides in the above quote put to tremendous use. Despite the fog that encompasses the bridge on this particular cloudy day in 1900, glimmers of golden light reflect off the water, and a spectrum of blues and purples fill the canvas.

Monet painted this, along with many other views of the Charing Cross Bridge, during his stay in London at the turn of the 20th Century. He reflected principles of Impressionism by showering the bridge in different lights. Some of the skies have deep oranges and yellows in sunset, while others are green and turquoise in the morning light.

Arguably the most influential Impressionist, Monet also used visible brushstrokes, and strong feelings of movement to influence the tone of this piece, both of which as keystones in the Impressionist ideal.

By painting so many pieces of this particular bridge, he spotlighted something seemingly plain and ordinary, and made it art.

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