During the beginning of the XIX century, boating became very fashionable in the regions of the Seine river, especially Argenteuil, that became a spot known for boat races because of the vast basin of the river in the area. On Sundays, the village became bursting competitors and viewers, a perfect opportunity for Claude Oscar Monet to portray these beautiful scenes in the sunlight. The artist's A Spot On The Banks Of The Seine is a beautiful Impressionistic representation of the landscape of the Seine river.
Monet developed a series of paintings of the Seine river at various times of the day between the year 1896 and 1897, observing different weather conditions and lighting. The artist even developed a studio in a small boat so that he could see the river from many perspectives. Working on many canvases at once became a common practice for the Impressionist since he aimed to study the changing effects of sunlight over a specific landscape. Later in 1898, Monet chose fifteen paintings of this series for an exhibition, including Morning on the Seine IV.
The exotic influence of the Japanese culture and art was bursting in Europe and became popular amongst the modern artists, especially the Impressionists. Monet was greatly influenced by the woodcut prints that came to Europe, as they brought alternative aesthetic values then they were accustomed. Artists like Hokusai were esteemed for their simplicity and their use of everyday subjects, as well as their approach to themes involving humankind and nature. This was one of the factors that influenced the Impressionists to work en plein air, meaning they painted outside to capture the optical effects of the natural light on the landscapes.
The oil painting A Spot On The Banks Of The Seine gives greater attention to the vegetation than the river itself. The forefront shows an abundance of colorful bushes, with blue, pink, green, and violet pigments. The right side of the canvas has a larger and dark tree. Behind the bushes a small area of water is visible and, in the far background, Monet used long and loose brushstrokes to portray the other side of the river. The sky is cloudy with light shades of pink, violet, blue and white - colors that repeat throughout the canvas.
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