Claude Oscar Monet concluded the oil painting simply entitled The Wheat Field in 1881. The artist was going through a significant transformation in his work, going almost into an abstraction and becoming more open to experimentation. This change was mainly due to his recent lost – Camille Doncieux, who was struggling with health issues for about three years, passed away in 1879, a year after their second son was born. Monet was deeply touched by the loss of his wife and painted while her on her deathbed. Camille was Monet’s muse and appears in many artworks like Madame Monet and Child in a Garden, The Woman in the Green dress, and La Japonaise.
During this period, Monet and Camille lived together with the Hoschedé family, in Vétheuil, where the artist spent about three years portraying the landscapes of his surroundings, including The Wheat Field. Ernst Hoschedé was Monet’s patron and acquired many of his artworks, but in 1878 the tables turned as Ernst went bankrupt, forcing him to leave the town for work. After Camille’s death, Alice Hoschedé stepped in to help the artist and his children. She had six kids of her own and took the painter’s two boys with her to Paris. Eventually, she returned to Vétheuil where they all joined as a family, and the couple joined as lovers.
This landscape of the rural French area is very reminiscent of the Japanese art that Monet was so passionate about, as well as the other Impressionists.They would collect these exotic prints done in the Ukiyo-e technique, which is comparable to the traditional woodcut print technique but uses watercolor. These Japanese artworks depict scenes of their immediate surroundings of breathtaking nature. This passion for nature was also seen in the paintings of the Impressionists, as they mainly worked en plein air, meaning they painted outside. Artists like Hokusai and Hiroshige would portray landscapes of overlapping colors, breaking the traditional sense of perspective.
The Wheat Field shows a green field of grass in the forefront, with specks of blossoming red flowers and a narrow path leading to the golden wheat field in the background. Behind the horizontal strip of wheat, Monet depicts some tall and dark cypress trees in green and blue. The far horizon also carries trees, as well as light blue hilltops. The sky is blue with yellow undertones and carries swirling white clouds.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
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