I have to admit that I would not run out and purchase an Impressionism painting but what excites me about Impressionism paintings is the artists enthusiasm to capture moment’s in time and apply those to canvas. A perfect example of what I am referring to is Claude Monet’s “Poplars” series. It is known that he rowed down a river in a small boat with his canvas’ and with a small window of time and how the sun was shining on the poplar trees, he would paint the trees as he saw them during that particular moment. His Impressionist paintings of the trees were his impression of what what he saw at the moment, not what he knew originally by memory, such as bark as being bark or what a poplar leaf looked like by memory.
Claude Monet’s, “Poplars.” 1891. Created in Normandy, France.
Claude Monet created a series of the same set of poplar trees in the exact same place on Epte River near his home. He knew In the above painting you see above, the leaves and most of the setting are pink. Monet knew that poplar trees are not pink but in the sunlight during that time of day, they appeared pink so that is how he painted them. Also in the background, he wanted the viewer to the notice also that the wind was blowing that day by blending the colors together and having them less defined.
Claude Monet’s “Poplars”. (Autumn Effect) 1891. Created in Normandy, France.
In same series of paintings by Monet, the poplars are now in Autumn. The trees are the same but very different due to the sunlight and the season. The painting on the canvas is built up in several layers. He returned to the same set of trees several times on several occasions to achieve the exact lighting effect he was looking for from the suns rays. It reminded me to appreciate what nature brings with each season, as well as sunlight with each moment or a glance and how that can change within seconds.
It is by Monet’s determination and passion for his artwork that these painting were completed. Before he could complete the series of paintings that depicts the poplar trees through the seasons, the land was put up for sale and the trees were to be cut down. To make sure that did not happen, Monet ended up buying the property that the trees were on so he could finish painting his series. After his series was complete, Monet sold the property to the person who was originally interested in buying the property.
Another style of painting that is very different than Impressionism is Romanticism. The Romantic style painters wanted to put a strong emphasis on emotion such as apprehension, awe, horror, terror, the unknown, and the fascination.
Francisco Goya, “Yard With Lunatics” (1794). Location of where it was created.
Romantic painter Francisco Goya painted this painting, “Yard With Lunatics” after experiences he had as a young boy in Zaragoza, Spain. As we see in this painting, it shows deep emotion, filled with dread and hatred. The two naked men in the center of the photo are being beaten by the warden with the whip. This picture is small in size on the blog but if you click on the picture it will open up so you can see it on a much larger scale. This painting shows the brutality against human beings whether they are criminals or with mental illness. The closer to the ground, the darker in color, and then as you look higher up on the painting, the sun is shining through, giving a glimmer of hope of what could be but probably what will never become for anyone locked behind these cement walls of physical and emotional abuse.
A few weeks after the completion of this painting, Francisco Goya himself had a physical and mental breakdown. His health began to deteriorate and his paintings became darker in subject matter as well as darker topics. Although this is not one of my favorite paintings, Romantic paintings are one of my favorite style of paintings due to the strong emotions that they portrayed.
Another style of painting is Realism painting. Realism painters wanted to capture the everyday worker, landscapes, and people exhibiting very little emotion. I feel that Rose Bonheur’s “Plowing in the Nivernais” is a great example of that. I like the way the painting appears very common, outdoor work, but it has a warm feeling to it. The viewer can tell that the sun is out but it looks like it would feel warm out but not too hot. The soil appears moist, cool to the touch but not saturated. This painting gives so much detail as to what is going on. I really like the way the light right above the oxen is lighter blue, and then as you look closer to the top of the painting the sky turns darker blue. It’s very realistic. I enjoyed this one a lot.