After the passing of his wife, Camille, Claude Oscar Monet and Alice Hoschedé got married. She was already a close friend and found of his children. The artist had kids of his own, as did Alice, and they all joined as a big family. Monet painted The Artist's Garden at Vetheuil while living in Vetheuil in 1880, portraying the garden, that he cultured with much passion, as well as some members of his family.
Like many other Impressionists, Monet had a great passion for horticulture and nature. These modern painters would work en plein air, meaning they painted outside to experience the surroundings. Observing the natural sunlight was a fundamental part of their process, as they strived to capture the optical effects through expressive strokes of color. Monet, along with many of his colleagues, enjoyed the aesthetic values and subjects of the Japanese art that was arriving in Europe. With vibrant colors and beautiful simplicity, these woodcut prints depicted scenes of the every-day life and nature.
The painting The Artist's Garden at Vetheuil depicts a centered path between the rich vegetation of the garden, leading to a fleet of stairs. Four ornamented vases with red-orange flowers and decorated with blue paintings of Oriental figures are placed with two on each side of the path, and full green grass follows. The stairway is almost unnoticeable because of the volume of bushes with red flowers that grow over it.
Behind the boy, Monet’s garden is thick and wild – filled with tall sunflowers of bright yellow and brown cores. Sunflowers inspired many Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, especially Vincent Van Gogh, who concluded two series portraying this flower during his life. Monet used loose and small brush strokes to depict the busy amount of leaves of the bundles of mixed vegetation. Monet painted a mix of blue, red, violet specks representing different flowers in the green bunch.
Two human figures stand in the middle of the stairs, probably Monet’s other children. In the far background, he depicts their spacious house with two chimneys. The roof was painted with tonalities of gray, blue and violet where there is less light on the right. The left part of the roof is bathed in vibrant light, and the artist uses red-brown and pink to highlight this glimmering sunlight. Monet also used this same pink to highlight the white and yellow clouds upon the blue sky.
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