During the 1880s, Claude Oscar Monet traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, searching for new landscapes and working on his painterly craft. In 1886, the artist went to the Netherlands where he spent about ten days. Although his trip was quick, he concluded a series of paintings which were significant to his development as an Impressionist painter. During his stay in Holland, Monet painted the colorful scene Champ de Tulipes en Hollande, as well as the artwork, entitled Field Of Tulips In Holland, both with very similar compositions.
Monet was fascinated with the sunny views he found in the Netherlands, which gave him great joy in working en plein air – meaning he painted outdoors. The observation of natural sunlight on a landscape was essential for the Impressionists and their methods. With expressive brushstrokes and complementary color palettes, these modern painters strived to demonstrate the optical effects of light in a modern way.
Although very similar to Field Of Tulips In Holland, the oil painting Champ de Tulipes en Hollande was painted in a looser manner. Monet’s rapid brush strokes gave little definition to the figures present in the composition. The left side of the artwork depicts a stream that leads the viewer's eyes into the distance, with tonalities of blue. The whole canvas seems to have a gray base color, making the vibrant pigments stand out even more. The banks of the river hold a field of tulips that stretch as far as the eyes can see. The stems and leaves vary from green, ochre, and blue, while the flowers almost create a rainbow with pigments of red, pink, yellow, white, blue, and purple.
The far background shows a faraway windmill, typical of Dutch landscapes. The left side of the horizon shows various specks of paint, seeming to represent houses. Compared to the rest of the canvas, the sky has bland colors, showing mostly the gray base. Monet used diagonal strokes of blue, white and green paint, giving the scene movement. Because this painting is extremely Impressionistic, it is meant to be seen from a distance so that viewers can take in the image as a whole. Monet’s passion for portraying the beauties of nature can be seen as a reflex of the inspiring Japanese woodcut prints he and his colleagues collected.
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