Claude Oscar Monet moved to the suburbs of Paris, in the town of Vétheuil, in the year of 1877. During this time, the artist concluded many paintings portraying the landscape, including views of the Seine river – a subject depicted by many other modern artists, like Impressionists and Post-Impressionist, including Vincent Van Gogh and Pierre Auguste Renoir. The summer of 1880 was particularly productive when he painted a series of artworks of the city.
In 1879, Monet married Alice Hoschedé, after the death of his wife, Camille. The artist and Alice had developed a friendship, and their families were already very close. Both had many children of their own, and they struggled with financial issues at the beginning of their marriage. But this was a significant period for the Impressionist’s work, since the many changes of his life translated in a substantial transformation in his art, as he began to experiment more.
Monet painted View of Antibes from the Plateau Notre-Dame in 1888 while living in Vetheuil. During the same year, the Impressionist painted Antibes Seen From The Salis Gardens2, portraying a colorful, fantastical, and expressive landscape. With a bold color palette, Monet represents the warmth cast on the scene by the mighty sun, in a different approach than the painting at hand.
In the painting View of Antibes from the Plateau Notre-Dame, the artist created a more traditional composition for a landscape. He placed the vegetation in the forefront. The ground is painted with brown, orange, and green plants, as well as blue and purple for the shadows. There is a single tall tree that stands out from all other figures in the artwork. The background is partially covered by the sun-drenched vegetation. Monet depicts the river in dark blue, visible on the right. The far horizon shows the city of Vétheuil and great mountains in shades of light blue, violet, and white – creating a complementary contrast with the colors of the forefront.
Like many other Impressionist, Monet was influenced by cultures of the Orient, in particular, the Japanese woodcut prints that came to Europe. These exotic prints brought themes of nature and its calmness, along with bright colors and nontraditional compositions. Artists like Hokusai started to become known in Europe. The artist’s direct contact with nature was a significant influence on the aesthetic development of the Impressionism movement, as they painted en plein air.
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