Claude Oscar Monet moved to Giverny in 1883, where he created what he called “my most beautiful masterpiece” – his garden. The artist had recently married Alice Hoschedé, a close family friend, and they formed a large family with their combined eight children. This represented a difficult time for his finances, but he quickly became well-known and sold paintings all over Europe and even in the United States of America. Because of his financial uprising, Monet was able to dedicate himself even more to his garden. He hired multiple gardeners to attend to the vegetation on daily bases, and also installed a pond filled with exotic water lilies, and a Japanese bridge – a subject he depicted in various artworks.
In the painting Yellow Irises, Monet used a long vertical canvas to portray the flowers of his garden. The overall dark artwork gains life with the explosion of yellow flowers, painted in a free manner. The artist used a very dark, almost black, tonality on the bottom of the canvas that leads to a deep blue base color. The flower stems are painted with long and loose strokes of thick paint. The top part of the canvas portrays the same colors, but in a circular motion. Yellow Irises is a great example of how Monet’s problems with vision gave his work a more abstract quality.
The Impressionist dedicated his work to capture the essence of the fleeting sunlight on a canvas and how it affects the landscape and figures. This group of artists worked mainly outdoors to observe this natural phenomenon with their own eyes, or as the French called it; working en plein air. The painting Yellow Irises in one of many portrayals of Monet’s beloved blossoming garden in Giverny. The use of vibrant colors and experimental style was also influenced by the Japanese art, that featured nature as one of its main subjects.
When Monet was a young man, at the beginning of his career, Eugene Boudin taught him to “retain the first impression.” He then became friends with other modern painters like Alfred Sisley, Pierre Auguste Renoir, and Frederic Bazille – who became the main propellers of the Impressionist movement and would often paint together en plein air.
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