Experiencing Vetheuil Essay

Looking at the Vetheuil in Summer. an oil picture by Claude Monet. provides a fresh experience of the season and the topographic point. Painted in 1879 during likely the most hard clip for the creative person ( for it was during this twelvemonth when his married woman died ) . this painting speaks of Monet’s “formulaic” ( Hubbard. 2008 ) manner of look as depicted in its attachment to the subjects predominant during those times. The picture features Vetheuil. a community in Paris France. where the creative person spent three old ages of his life from 1879-81. Purchased in 1929 by the Art Gallery of Ontario. this picture is now one of the assets of the museum.

At first glimpse. the picture seems to give merely the artist’s general feeling of the topographic point in summer—houses that reflect vibrantly on the river. all covered by the bright beams of the Sun. However. as the spectator looks closely. one will wonder at the minute inside informations the creative person put in the picture. One by one. images become seeable: the looming church. the people. the windmill. and the bush that adorn the riverbank. But as the spectator comes closer. the brightness of the colourss slices. uncovering a certain duskiness. and go forthing the audience a permanent feeling of the topographic point.

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A close expression at the work allows a spectator to see what is behind the variant drama of colourss. The artist’s effort to do a complete position of a community makes the work really “formulaic. ” As a spectator draws near. figures become seeable. one by one. Each component suffices to do up a complete portraiture of the Gallic countryside. but unlike Monet’s subsequently works that focal point on a individual item such as Water Lilies. this painting gives a holistic position of the topographic point. The image of a community is made complex with the church at the centre. a windmill. a clump of verdure. people walking and basking the Sun. sturdy houses. and a still river.

Although the whole Vetheuil is the chief topic of the picture. there is one object that draws attending of the viewing audiences: the church. It forms a right trigon that hovers to the riverbank where a group of immature sightseers apparently prepare to sit on a boat. The church. which glows isolated in red-orange and bluish colourss. is given the best accent among all figures. It even casts a surprisingly tall shadow on the river. doing it look as the most powerful characteristic in the work. In contrast to the walls of houses made of brick. which are all painted with light ecrus and blue. the church is given accent by a bright shadiness of orange.

Although the height of the church should do it obtain better visible radiation than everything else on the land. it displays a darker shadiness. which is really characteristic of Impressionism. As an impressionist picture. it depicts the manner the creative person might hold perceived the church. as a focal point in Vetheuil. The church’s place. as depicted in the picture. reflects the power that the Church must hold had over the topographic point. including the people. Likewise. the shadow it casts on the river. pronounces its domination non merely over the land but even on H2O. As mentioned. through this picture. one can see the artist’s perceptual experience of the whole topographic point.

It can be assumed that Monet viewed the topographic point as chiefly characterized by the religion of the people with the church as the symbol looking bright in the thick of everything. Furthermore. the church’s walls which are painted in similar colourss intensify the prominence of the figure. Notably. the picture can be divided horizontally into two: the land and the river. The upper portion is devoted to the land while the lower portion consists chiefly of the river. Full of countryside images. the land portion looks busy and full as it depicts the state life of the Gallic during summertime.

At the lower half. the huge milieus seem to subject to the luminescent river. The river reflects vividly everything in the land. as if mirroring world spot by spot. which makes it incredible. However. through this unsound contemplation the creative person achieves the feeling that the river is peculiarly an indispensable portion of Vetheuil as it mirrors non merely the things found in Vetheuil but besides the mundane activities of the people. Unlike in Monet’s other pictures where the river is peaceable and unagitated. the river in this picture is busy. full. and glowering in the heat of the Sun.

On the right. an image of a boat signifiers with two work forces rowing side by side. As viewers’ eyes move from one figure to another. they will detect the motion depicted on canvass. The little figures that at first glimpse seem to be smudges of bluish pigment from the tip of the artist’s coppice all of a sudden turn into human figures. each making an activity of their ain. Some are walking. others are working. while a group of little figures which apparently include kids form alongside of the river. proposing program of a boat drive.

While each figure becomes clear. the position creates more exhilaration for the audience to look for more concealed figures that take portion in the completion of the master’s work. On the left side. an islet of grasses and workss add to the sparkling position of the land. while a tapestry of other verdures border alongside of the river. While most portion of the work depicts the vivacity of the topographic point during summer. the clouds do non look to hold good with the brightness of the lower shadiness. In fact. it casts a subdued shadow on the land above the church. which Monet apparently left behind intentionally for some grounds.

It is implicative of the impermanency of the conditions. of a darkness associated with the terminal of summer. or of an terminal to the gladfulness the summer heat brings. It could similarly be implicative of the emotions of the painter. who was likely sing the most important portion of his life due to the unwellness of his married woman. Camille. On the one manus. the tapestries. the luminescent river. the state people and the hardy houses confirm Hubbard’s statement that Monet’s pictures present “images of a dateless Gallic countryside. a topographic point of peace and repose. non a state under the menace of invasion. civil war and rural depopulation” ( 2008 ) .

On the other manus. the looming church that clearly casts contemplation on the river suggests a powerful construction that regulations over the land. by manner of civilization and norms. As such. one can happen ground for the peaceful atmosphere created in the picture ; that is. the spiritual religion of the people. The swoon clouds that serve as the background present a contrast to the summertime but do non needfully uncover a contradiction to the prevailing subjects of simpleness and peace. Alternatively. they support the thought of the placid topographic point. doing it look more drab despite the brightness of the shadows casted on the river.

Overall. the elements found in the picture correspond to the subject of capturing life in the Gallic countryside. Specifically. the combination of bright and subdued colourss illustrates the really nature of life characterized by ups and downs. The topic. which constitutes the religion. the manner of life. and the simple things found in nature. successfully brings out the subject the creative person wants to project. Sing these things in the picture gives the audience an thought of what it is like to populate in Vetheuil in summer.

Most of all. the impressionist manner of the creative person relates the feelings one can experience in the place—a mixture of delectation and obtuseness. of passion and passiveness. Indeed. through this work of art. Monet induces the audience to see Gallic state life at its best.


Hubbard. Sue. ( 2008 ) . The Seine and the sea. Retrieved January 18. 2009. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. suehubbard. com/art_criticism_6. htm Monet. Claude. ( 1879 ) . Vetheuil in summer. Oil on canvass. Retrieved January 18. 2009. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ago. net/agoid6618


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