Claude Oscar Monet concluded the Impressionistic oil painting Gondola In Venice during the last phase of his career, in 1908. He had moved to Giverny in 1883 with his wife Alice Hoschedé and their combined eight children, but from about a decade, the artist would continue his travels around Europe. Monet visited the Mediterranean sea, Venice, Italy, and London, where he painted a series of landscapes.
As an Impressionist, Monet enjoyed painting en plein air, meaning he worked in the outside surroundings to capture the effect of sunlight. The name of the movement was given as a pejorative term, for the artists gave an impression of what they saw based on light. In fact, these modern painters were not worried about depicting a realistic representation of their surroundings, but to capture the fleeting moment of a specific lighting. The Pointillists had a similar view but worked with the study of color to create a painting with spots of side-by-side complementary color. Although the Impressionists did not usually work with specks of paint, rather loose brush strokes, they did benefit from the color studies and applied this to their work.
The painting Gondola In Venice is simple and expressive. Monet used a complementary color pallet, as the painting is mainly dark blue and purple, but has highlights in yellow. The pink base color gives a warm atmosphere to this gloomy landscape. Boating was a reoccurring theme for the Impressionists, as they enjoyed observing the effects of sunlight on the reflecting surface of the water. They were also very inspired by the woodcut prints that came from Japan. These artworks, done by artists like Hokusai and Hiroshige, brought subjects of nature and the beautiful landscapes of their surroundings. The love for nature the Impressionists and the Japanese artists had in common was a significant influence for the modern painters to work en plein air. Also, the woodcut prints done in Ukiyo-e brought vibrant colors, likewise a major impact from the art of the Orient.
The gondola depicted in this oil painting is the central figure and is loosely painted in very dark pigments of purple-blue. Four poles are sticking out of the water, and the boat is tied to one. Another gondola can be partially seen in the background, and all of the figures reflect on the water with wavy brush strokes.
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