Madame Monet and Her Son by Claude Monet, painted in 1875, is an impressionist oil painting and is an artwork of extreme love and beauty.
This oil on canvas is just one of Claude Monet's famous paintings, sometimes also known as Woman with a Parasol and Lady with a Parasol.
Monet exhibited his painting at the Second Impressionist Exhibition in 1876. Unlike many other paintings which received critical condemnation, Madame Monet gained praise.
Critics particularly noted Monet's spontaneous brushwork and the atmospheric natural setting.
In 1871, Claude Monet moved to Argenteuil with his friend Édouard Manet helping him find lodgings.
As a small town in the northwestern suburbs of Paris, it proved a massively exciting time in Monet's career. This move inspired many of Claude Monet famous paintings, including (among others) Madame Monet and Her Son.
What type of oil painting is Woman with a Parasol?
Woman with a Parasol is an impressionist oil painting. The impressionist movement developed from the late 1860s onwards. It stemmed from Monet's desire to paint full-scale representations of everyday people and loved ones in natural situations.
In general, Impressionist artists loved painting cityscapes and landscapes. However, this particular Monet combines landscape painting with portraiture.
The painting ignores traditional French Academy rules of portraiture. Indeed, while Monet paints the figures carefully and accurately, his brushstrokes are incredibly loose and expressive. The perspective is also highly unusual, with the woman looking down on the viewer from a grassy bank.
How big is the original oil on canvas painting?
Woman with a Parasol, or Madame Monet and Her Son, measures 100 by 82 centimeters. A prime example of Monet's oil painting on canvas demonstrates his love of painting "en plein air".
Monet's technique involved setting up canvases and paints outside. As part of this, he focused on the changing effects of light and wind. Consequently, he often spent multiple weeks and months creating paintings.
Monet tried to ensure painting took place in the same weather, at the same time of day. In this way, he ensured complete consistency.
Despite this, scholars believe Woman with a Parasol appeared during a single painting session. Due to the quick brushstrokes and almost sketch-like manner Monet probably spent only three to four hours on the work.
Who are the two women in Monet's painting?
The woman in Lady with a Parasol is Monet's first wife. This was Camille-Léonie Doncieux. Sadly, Camille died in 1879.
Monet painted her likeness often. She also appears in Camille Monet at the Window and Camille on Her Deathbed. Other impressionist painters such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Édouard Manet also painted Camille.
Monet and Camille had two sons together, born eleven years apart. Their firstborn was Jean, born on 8 August 1867.
Michele followed later, born on 17 March 1878. Jean is the small child featured in Lady with a Parasol. After Camille died in 1879, Monet married Alice Hoschedé. Wedding in 1892, they remained married until Alice died in 1911.
Where is Madame Monet and Her Son?
Monet's famous painting is currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., USA. This painting sits among a substantial collection of famous Monet paintings.
Monet's painting conveys a casual day out with the family. His wife and son's positions suggest they are temporarily distracted while strolling. Their distraction could result from Monet (the unseen third participant) gaining their attention.
Camille's skirt swishes around, showing a quick pivot. Then, representing a fleeting moment, they both gaze toward the viewer.
The rapid brushstrokes and vibrant color also suggest a warm yet windswept day. Indeed, bright sunlight lightens Camille's clothing. Yet, young Jean remains still while the mother's fabrics move in the breeze. His rosy cheeks and straw hat are just visible on the horizon line.
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