The sheer weight of the dense snow appears to drag the gentle country road into an integrated cascade as it surrounds the departing cart, in this masterpiece and forerunner of the Impressionist movement. Crystalline snow reacts to the sharp light of a winter morning as Monet's vision of a rural scene stretches confidently across the pale shades of the canvas. Claude Oscar Monet's A Cart On The Snow Covered Road With Saint Simeon Farm was most likely painted in 1867, then the usually attributed 1865. This work is an impressionistic reproduction of the Saint-Siméon farm which had become the favorite meeting spot for the trailblazing painters of Monet's circle: Troyon, Daubigny, Corot, Boudin, Jongkind, Bazille, and Courbet.
Gustave Courbet had paved the way for Monet's A Cart On The Snow Covered Road With Saint Simeon Farm with his vivid and deeply personal landscapes which reflected the surging confidence and bombastic realism of both his brushwork and personality. Courbet, the master of the Realist movement, one which he also quickly transcended, was a significant influence of Monet, who was a generation younger. The emerging artist would break with this hugely inspirational figure whose landscape scenes remained anecdotal and symbolic.
Monet's landscape is almost deserted – the only figures in the scene quickly galloping into the distance. Even this fleeting departure plays a minor role in a canvas dominated by the variations of light, texture, shading, and surface. Monet's reproduction of snow casts the surface not only as something seen but as something felt, something that covers and suggests what lies beneath. This idiosyncratic technique was forged through his profound studies of light reflections. These 'effects of snow' also led to the canvas Magpie dating from the winter of 1868-1869. The town of Honfleur wherein A Cart On The Snow Covered Road With Saint Simeon Farm was painted now attracts three million visitors a year, all of them wishing to experience – rather than merely see – the landscape which Monet so loved.
In A Cart On The Snow Covered Road With Saint Simeon, Monet simply portrays a snowy road on a hillside. A horse carriage takes the figures into the distance, where there are dark trees with specks of white-blue snow. The sky is slightly yellow, but the overall color pallet of the scene is composed of with cold colors.
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