Claude Oscar Monet is most known for his landscape portrayals, like the oil painting Apple Trees In Blossom. As an Impressionist, Monet was passionate about nature and working while experiencing his surroundings, or as the French artists called it, painting en plein air. This group of artists was fascinated by the visual effects created by different natural lighting, and they used color combinations and expressive brush strokes to depict what they saw in a modern way. They learned a lot from the color studies done by the Pointillists and adapted this to their work.
The oil painting Apple Trees In Blossom is an excellent example of a sunny landscape and Monet’s play on color to create a welcoming atmosphere. With a warm color palette, the Impressionist created an inviting environment, where the viewer is inserted in the painting. The forefront of the composition is filled with multiple apple trees in blossom with pigments of yellow, ochre and red-brown. The yellow and green grass is filled with white specks of fallen flowers and the trees cast interesting dark shadows across the ground.
Behind the vegetation, several houses can be partially seen with red-brown rooftops and defined contours. The far background shows a large hill that holds visible brush strokes of warm brown, yellow, ochre, and green – most of the colors seen in the rest of the painting. The small strip of sky breaks a little with the overall warm color palette, as it is blue, with white and gray clouds, even though the painter added some yellow pigments as well.
Monet was profoundly influenced by the Japanese art, as well as his Impressionist colleagues. They would collect and exchange woodcut prints done by artists like Hokusai and Hiroshige. These artworks played a prominent role in the development of the movement, for it brought different aesthetic values than what the European Art Academies considered “good art,” which caught the attention of modern painters who wished to go against the flow. The Japanese woodcut prints brought vibrant colors, figures with dark contours, as well as unusual compositions and views of perspective – characteristics that the Impressionists included into their own work as well. In Apple Trees In Blossom, Monet overwhelms human-made constructions, like the houses, with the image of nature, showing its infinite magnitude among us.
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