Claude Oscar Monet traveled a great deal during the 1880s, as he aimed to build a stronger career as a painter and looked for different motifs to paint. After the death of his first wife, Alice, he was left with two small children to tend. During this time, Alice Hoschedé, stepped in to help the artist and they soon became romantically involved. Alice, with six children of her own, also struggled financially, but soon Monet turned the situation around. The family settled down in Giverny in 1883, but the painter continued determined to travel and strive for success.
In 1884, the Impressionist visited Bordighera, a town on the Italian Riviera and very close to the border of Italy and France. During this trip, Monet produced many paintings, including Bordighera 1, A Palm Tree in Bordighera, and View of Bordighera. He even wrote about his enthusiasm in a post to his friend and fellow modern painter, Auguste Rodin. He enjoyed observing and portraying the vibrant sunlight of the Mediterranean so much that what he intended to be a three-week trip lasted three months.
The oil painting Villas in Bordighera is part of the series of landscapes painted during his stay in at the town. With a vibrant color palette, Monet gives life to this scene. The forefront is filled with different kinds of vegetation. Some palm trees and bushes are depicted in green, ochre, and red-brown, as well as a plant that steals the viewer's attention, was boldly painted in shades of blue and turquoise. On the right side, a house with multiple stories can be partially seen. The architecture seems typical of the location, with many arcs and a lovely balcony on the second floor. The painter continues with similar colors on the building, using white, ochre, and shading with tonalities of blue.
The vegetation continues into the background, with a variation of vibrant pigments representing many sorts of plants. The left side of the canvas, on the far background, some large constructions can be seen behind the tall trees in shades of white and red. The pink, blue, and violet mountains are immense and create a beautiful harmony and unity in the Impressionistic representation of this landscape, as its colors repeat throughout the artwork.
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