Claude Oscar Monet created the oil painting, The Rue Montorgeuil, depicting the festival of June 30th, in 1878. This festival celebrated a newfound peace in the French government and was organized especially for the Universal Exhibition, the third one to happen in Paris. This painting symbolizes a hopeful country recovering from a defeat, with a grand sense of nationalism. Monet also believed in the Republican regime and went against the conservatives.
The Impressionist created two remarkably similar paintings, The Rue Montorgeuil and Rue Saint-Denis on the National Holiday. Not mixing in with the crowd, Monet painted this landscape from a higher viewpoint, most likely from a window of one of the buildings. This different perspective gives this masterpiece a sense of the grandiosity of the people and their power, as the crowd reaches as far as the eyes can see. With specks of light and dark color, the artist portrays a crowd marching on the street, while the buildings on the right cast shadows in some areas of the path. With the vanishing point placed almost in the center of the canvas, Monet was able to convey a sense of perspective to his painting.
There are numerous amounts of French flags on the windows of the buildings, waving in the wind, creating an explosion of color on the landscape. The sky is light blue with some small clouds, as it is a sunny day. There was a significant artistic influence from the Japanese woodcut prints coming to Europe at the time, as they featured vibrant colors, unusual compositions, and themes of the daily life and nature. As an Impressionist, Monet valued working en plein air – meaning he worked outside to capture the optical effect light had on the landscape and its figures. This was also an influence of the Oriental culture that he absorbed.
In The Rue Montorgeuil, Monet’s Impressionistic style is exuberant. He works with expressive brushstrokes of bright color to convey a cheerful and sunny day. His enthusiasm for the changes being made in the French government was translated in this landscape masterpiece. The predominant red, white and blue tonalities of the flags are seen repeated on the crowd, but in dulled down pigments.
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