Claude Oscar Monet painted The Boats: Regatta At Argenteuil – two years after painting Regatta At Argenteuil. The first artwork was done in 1872, the same time the artists arrived in in the village of Argenteuil. This town was in a semi-rural area, close enough to Paris that the artist could travel by train, and filled with inspiring landscapes that Monet loved portraying in his Impressionistic oil paintings. Along with other modern painters, Monet shunned the city life and immersed himself in his surroundings beside the Seine river.
Boating became very popular in the regions of the Seine river, during the first decades of the XIX century. Argenteuil was a hotspot for boat races because of the river’s basin in this area. On Sundays, the town filled with competitors and spectators, which meant translated in a great scene for Monet to paint, while observing the effects of light on the figures and landscape. The painter's The Boats: Regatta At Argenteuil is still an exquisite reproduction of a fleeting scene, painted only two years before the first Impressionist exhibition that helped the artists gain visibility and fame.
Monet's The Boats: Regatta At Argenteuil features the short, sharp, and fragmented brushstrokes that would become emblematic of the artist's style, capturing the movement of sun and air and the shifting impressions of the natural light, forging an intangible reproduction of the scene. The Impressionist creates a gloomy and cold atmosphere with his use of a bland color palette. The sky is mostly white and gray, with hints of blue and yellow. The water of the river portrays the same colors, but have darker contours to portray the waves.
Monet's time at Argenteuil was one of intense productivity, attempting to capture the movement of the Seine from many vantages and viewpoints. Monet even acquired a small boat which he turned into a studio. The variety that Monet sought was found in the ways his fragmented brush-strokes could respond to the changes in weather, sun, and shade and the different impressions of light that could remain on the canvas after the light departed. The Boats: Regatta At Argenteuil is an exceptional artifact of a master craftsman at the high-water mark of his early inspiration and experiment, spurred on by the natural beauty of the world around him and the encouragement of his fellow artists who would soon become known to history as the Impressionists.
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