Claude Oscar Monet moved to Argenteuil, near Paris, where he painted a series of landscapes of his surroundings. The Seine river was a hot spot for modern painters, like many Impressionists and Post-Impressionist, for example Vincent Van Gogh and Pierre Auguste Renoir. During this same year, the artist painted the colorful still life Bouquet Of Gadiolas Lilies And Dasies.
Monet is most famous for painting outside – or en plein air in French. He aimed to capture the impression that the natural sunlight has on the landscape. As an Impressionist, Monet strived to work this way, but also painted many indoor subjects, like floral arrangements. The Japanese woodcut prints inspired him to work with nature, and other subjects that convey calmness and peace of spirit. These prints were aesthetically different than the art Europe was accustomed to, and this pleased the Impressionists immensely, causing a significant impact on their artistic production.
The painting Bouquet Of Gadiolas Lilies And Dasies was most likely inspired by his collection of Japanese prints. The color combination is vibrant, and the care-free way he positions the arrangement is very reminiscent of this exotic art. He positions the glossy white ceramic vase on a table with a printed tablecloth. The colors on the cloth repeat on the tiny flowers painted on the decorative vase, as well as the real flowers – green, yellow, red, and blue. The green stems are darkened towards the opening of the jar, making the white daisies and lilies pop in the viewer's eyes, as well as their yellow cores.
The gladiolas are bright red and pink, creating unity in the whole canvas. Monet inserts a small and single purple flower bud, contrasting with the areas of yellow throughout the canvas. The simple blue background with visible brushstrokes balances the business of the overall artwork. The painter follows the concepts of complementary colors, creating many combinations in this still life – something that later on, Van Gogh will be greatly inspired by, taking this knowledge of color and applying it to his unique style. Monet slightly positions the vase of radiant flowers to the left of the canvas, making some exceed the limits of the painting. He also places the corner of the table behind the vase, slightly breaking the rigid centered composition.
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