Oscar-Claude Monet was born in 1840 in Paris France (Seitz, 2018). During his last years, he settled in Giverny with his wife and children. Monet had failing eyesight in his last years but still painted. The difference is shown in his previous artwork compared to his 20th century art (Seitz, 2018). Impressionism styles were demonstrated throughout his paintings. The paintings were mature works of art. Monet developed his method by repeating the same series (Seitz, 2018). For example, a series of water-lily ponds. Many versions of the water-lily ponds to show the more realistic side without going towards a realism style of art.
The repeated works of art were tweaked with different lighting or different angles. Monet’s first successful work of art was done at fifteen-years-old (Seitz, 2018). Nature was the main genre. Almost all of Monet’s paintings included modern life rather than unrealistic subjects. In the early ages, it was just penciled drawings until he got involved with other impressionistic artists as well as a tour in the military (Seitz, 2018). The lights and colors inspired Monet to work with paint. The painting that stuck out the most was the Apple Trees in Bloom at Giverny, painted in 1901. This painting style is impressionism. While the genre is landscape. Monet is one of the most intense followers of the impressionist style of painting (Fichner-Rathus, 2017, p. 431). According to the book, the word impressionism suggests a lack of realism and realistic representation (Fichner-Rathus, 2017, p. 431). Just like in the Apple Trees in Bloom. The landscape is completely real but the way it is painted does not look realistic. Impressionism is considered to be the first distinct modern movement in art (Wolf, 2018).
Artists who focused on impressionist techniques, captured in the moment scenes. Impressionists aimed at distinguishing the more important elements of a picture (Wolf, 2018). Which all began in Paris. The paintings were used to get away from the realistic looking works of art. Impressionism displays the effects of the mid-19th-century renovation of Paris (Wolf, 2018). Techniques of the style focused on the lighting. A lot of complementary colors are used in impressionism paintings, but at the end of the painting juxtaposed colors were used as well. Apple Trees in Bloom at Giverny is a representational work of art. Which means it represents an actual place, person, or object. While the impressionism style of art sort of ended in 1892, Monet still carried it on in his pieces in the 20th century.
Monet used oil paint as his media. Oil paint consists of powdered pigments with linseed oil and turpentine medium (Fichner-Rathus, 2017, p. 125). There are multiple characteristics to oil paint. Oil paint offers artists a variety of colors due to how easy the paint can be blended. One downfall of using oil paints is that it takes more time to dry compared to other types (Hussey, 2009). Even though it takes a while to dry, that allows the artist to have more time to improve the painting itself. Different types of paint do not allow an artist to make mistakes, while oil paint gives them a second chance. Mixing oil paints together looks almost effortless with any other color. The paint creates a unique shine and shades that artists want for there paintings (Hussey, 2009). Many artists prefer oil paint because of the unique shine. Oil paints are an extraordinarily permanent medium (Saitzyk, 2012).
The permeance of oil paints tends to be disbelieved because of the darkening of the colors (Saitzyk, 2012). However, that is due to the linseed oil. Transparency, texture variations, and translucent are some other characteristics of oil paint (Britannica, 2018). The process of using oil paints is the same for all oil paintings. It is a process of mixing dry powder pigments with linseed oil (Britannica, 2018). It begins with a canvas that can specifically hold oil paint.
Oil paint can be applied with a variety of knives and brushes (Fichner-Rathus, 2017, p. 125). Some brushes are used to capture details, and some are used to create texture. A primer needs to be applied to the canvas to avoid absorbance of the paint (Britannica, 2018). Oil paint is then applied by the artist. Texture can be applied to the painting by the desire of the artist. After all the additional elements are added to the painting it is then finished with a coat of the varnish to protect the painting (Britannica, 2018). Oil paint techniques are used to affect the meaning of the work. For example, the paint can be used to create an illusion of texture as well as actual texture (Fichner-Rathus, 2017, p. 127). Painting with the oil paint allows an artist to create a realist sense of real things, people, or scenes.
Apple Trees in Bloom in Giverny displays the visual elements of color, light, and motion. Color consists of value, intensity, and hue (T, 2018). The painting consists of “all-natural” colors. Otherwise known as local colors. Monet used colors that represent a tree. The tree leaves look white, which represent the blooming. Blue was thrown in the tree trunk to create a hue in the painting. Monet uses light and color to make the grass look real. Light is a reflection from objects (T, 2018). Light is done by creating value in the paintings. Within the tree trunk there are different values of brown. Where Monet painted lighter browns is displaying that the light is shining on that part of the trunk. Monet painted with many colors that illustrate light shining on the apple tree (Fichner-Rathus, 2017, p. 48).
The illusion of motion suggests the painting is in the process of occurring, almost like in the moment type of feeling (Fichner-Rathus, 2017, p. 79). Monet uses multiple leaves on the tree in the same shape repeated over and over again. The blurriness of the leaves creates a sense of movement like the wind is hitting the tree. Blurring and simulation of multiple shapes will create the illusion of motion, which is what Monet did with the leaves on the apple tree (Fichner-Rathus, 2017, p. 79). The visual elements are arranged to put the focus on the apple tree beginning to bloom. Monet uses emphasis on a focal point to compose this work of art. Emphasis is used to create the area of composition that is dominant to the viewers’ attention (Marder, 2018).
The apple tree covers about eighty percent of the canvas, thereby making that the focal point of the painting. More specifically, the placement of the apple tree in the middle of the canvas will affect the viewers’ attention. Monet puts different colors in the tree itself to obtain the attention. Majority of the branches are brown; however, a bit of blue is thrown in the trunk to attract the viewers. Blue is not a common color in a tree trunk, so a unique element being added puts emphasis on the tree. Monet used the visual elements of art and principle of designs to construct an impressionism piece of work of the 20th-century.
Apple Trees in Bloom at Giverny is a landscape of Claude Monet’s life. While there were many versions of this painting this what has shown what Monet last saw. The work is about an apple tree beginning to bloom. Winter has passed, and the sun is shining on the tree to make it bloom. Monet tended to paint in the moment paintings. This specific painting is blurrier than most. This painting was about the moment when the wind was moving the little leaves on the tree and the grass below. I believe this because of the illusion of movement that is displayed with the repetitive leaves. Monet was in a happy moment. During the 20th-century Monet was all about impressionism paintings. It was a great representation of apple trees in bloom without looking realistic.
This painting is one of the best representations I have seen involving impressionism. Before looking at this art, I was not sure what the Impressionism style of art was about. While the artwork was done when Monet began to lose his eyesight, the visual elements are still in the painting to compose it. The blurry shapes create emphasis on the tree. Compared to Monet’s earlier replications of this piece that were precise and clear, this particular version in 1901 has exhibited what the impressionism movement was about. The messiest works of art are always the best examples of the styles of art.
Monet was the best illustration of 20th-century impressionism representational art. After the original impressionist group began to disintegrate, Monet carried it on until his death in 1926 (Seitz, 2018). Even with the failing of eyesight, the ability to use the visual elements of art to compose such an astonishing piece of work was represented by using color, light, and motion. Monet was able to use the medium of oil paint to obtain the shading and colors in the painting to create a meaning. Apple Trees in Bloom at Giverny is about the time in the season where the cold has passed, the sun is out, blooming everything back to life. Claude Monet was one of the artists who stayed true to their style and carried it to their death bed. Art truly is the representation of the world just within different views.
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Fichner-Rathus, L. (2017). Understanding art (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Hussey, R. (2009). Characteristics and Procedure of Oil Painting. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from http://www.articlesfactory.com/articles/education/characteristics-and-procedure-of- oil-painting.html
Marder, L. (2018). The 7 Principles of Art and Design. Retrieved from T. (n.d.). Elements of Art. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from http://www.getty.edu/education/teachers/building_lessons/formal_analysis.html#space
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Saitzyk, S. (2012, September 02). Characteristics of Oil Paint. Retrieved December 2, 2018, from https://www.trueart.info/?page_id=57
Seitz, W. C. (n.d.). Claude Monet. Retrieved November 29, 2018, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Claude-Monet
Wolf, J. (2018). Impressionism Movement, Artists and Major Works. Retrieved November 29, 2018, from https://www.theartstory.org/movement-impressionism.htm