Claude Oscar Monet painted the landscape The Magpie in 1868-1869, during one of the many brutal winters that were occurring in France. During this period, his patron Louis Joachim Gaudibert helped the artist and his girlfriend, Camille Doncieux, along with their newborn child, by finding them a good home.
This series of snowy and harsh winters began in 1867 and lasted for about twenty years – something that many Impressionists took advantage of, like Pierre Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Camille Pissarro, among others, portraying the landscape hundreds of time. Monet himself concluded about 140 paintings representing the effet de neige, meaning they depicted the snowscape and the effect natural light had on them. As an Impressionist, he was greatly inspired by working outdoors and on location to paint the light as he saw it – the French called it painting en plein air.
The painting The Magpie portrays a simple, everyday theme. As a modern artist, Monet went against Classic standards imposed by the Academy – one of these standards refers to subjects and considered landscapes and trivial subjects as being unworthy. Because of this, many artists turned to other influence other than the Greek culture; mainly the Japanese woodcut prints. Artists found the beauty in representing nature as they saw it, and not by idealizing it. The Japanese culture brought an idea os stillness that went against the turbulence and machinery of the modern time.
The color palette is simple and mostly white, varying in tonalities from gray-blue and violet in the shadows, along with yellow and pink in the highlights in a very subtle way. The composition is simple, resembling many other landscapes produced at the time. The forefront depicts an area of snow and a shadow cast on it by the snow-coved dark brown fence. The thin, crooked gate brings the viewer’s attention to it, especially because of the blackbird portrayed resting upon it.
Some large trees were painted in the background, with dark brown trunks and snowy tops. Behind them, Monet depicted a large house on the right corner of the canvas. On the opposite side, the trees follow into the far distance, as far as the viewer can see. The horizontal lines of the clouds in the sky represent a calm atmosphere. This painting characterizes the silence of nature after a snowstorm.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of The Magpie, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of The Magpie that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.