Mapping Monet: an art alphabet

“For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life – the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.”

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Claude Monet, famously among the leaders of the French Impressionist movement of the 1870s and 1880s, was one of the movement’s most prolific artists. His 1873 painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant) gave the movement its name, and he played a crucial role in bringing its adherents together. Particularly inspired in the 1860s by the Realists’ willingness to pain en plein air, Monet made his painting technique one of his most important traits – painting different places at different times, often directly in front of the subject, rather than from memory, and became distinguished for his remarkable colouring and depiction of light.

What makes Monet stand out for me, other than all of his artistic techniques and the landscapes he chooses, is the way these move across Europe. Hence, following his footsteps beyond just the gardens of well-known Giverny is fascinating – most are there today, making it possible to step into one of his paintings. Let’s step into his artwork and embark on a journey across the continent.  Continue reading