“Wheatstacks, Snow Effect, Morning” by Claude Monet
Standing in front of the painting, we see two haystacks, in a landscape of snow. The sun just comes up and the colors of the snow are slightly pink. The snow has also fallen on the haystacks and the roofs of the houses in the background. The work is an impressionistic painting, it captures a moment in the morning, when the rising sun touches the haystacks and colors the surroundings. The painter, Claude Monet, painted the work in Giverny, France in 1891. This painting is one from a series of paintings of haystacks.
Monet painted 25 paintings, with all the same subject, painted on different moments, weather, seasons and times of day. Monet painted the painting with raised, broken, small brushstrokes. There are no contours found, the colors that he uses make the objects clear. For an impressionistic painting, this is very normal. The spectator is captured by the moment, clear lines and visible brushstrokes take this away. The color and the lighting are very important. It is the exact reason why Monet painted the series of wheatstacks in the first place. He was fascinated by the light and what it did with the objects.
He used only a few colors for this painting and tried to make the painting ‘come to life’. The colors make it look very natural and that was the purpose. The objects are very natural too, they are just wheatstacks Monet found outside of his house in Giverny. The colors Monet used are mainly pastels; white, pink and blue. Pastels are the lightest colors and they make a painting quiet, calm and southing to look at. The pastel colors, pink and blue, are derived from the complementary colors of red and blue. White is of course the snow, fallen on the wheatstacks, the ground and the surroundings.
The pink on the ground, on the snow, reflect the sunshine, the pinks in the sky are reflections of the snow. Pink is also used to shape the wheatstacks and to shape some trees in the background. Blue is used for the shadows of the wheatstacks on the ground and on the wheatstacks themselves. Blue is also used for the roofs of the houses in the background, they appear to stand in the shadow, and the morning sun did not reach them yet. Using these pastel pinks and blues give the feeling of ‘cold’ and ‘winter’. It is amazing that using mainly three colors, can give a whole feeling and impression of a landscape.
What is the case, most of the times with oil paintings, is that you can see the applied paint on this painting. Some parts are rough, where the brush pushed the paint up. Not too much, no impasto is used. This would have made the painting more look like blobs of paint on a canvas, instead of a subtle use texture. Texture is important in this painting. Monet uses the texture of the paint to create another visual effect. You can say that the paint texture makes you see the light from the wheatstacks themselves or from the snow: it makes the painting have an extra dimension.
The use of all the elements described here, make the painting look very real and completely 3-dimensional. It is as looking at a photograph that you could never take yourself. Those colors we can sometimes see in the sky, brilliant combinations of different pastels, never seem be really natural when you take a picture of it. Monet uses excellent colors and color shapes to create a realistic landscape. He only uses colors to make depth appear and also adds a feeling and a calm sensation to it at the same time. The aerial perspective is made by using a darker shape on the almost white background of the snow.
The wheatstacks are very dark against the background which makes them stand closer to the viewer and makes them look like very solid structures. Even the pinks and blues are darker in the wheatstacks, not really pastel anymore. For the background, Monet used light pastel colors to shape the houses and the trees. Monet, as being an impressionist, paints impressions, moments. He wants to capture the moment as soon as possible on a canvas. With the series of the wheatstacks, this was quite impossible. He could not put the whole painting on the canvas before the light changed.
You would say that most impressionist paintings are painted alla prima, at once, but this series, being so special, is done in stages. Monet worked on several paintings at the time, changing the canvasses as the light and time of day changed. Realism is exactly what impressionists as Monet are trying to bring alive. The focal point is the wheatstacks in different seasons, times of day and weather conditions. This series was the first one Monet ever made. He concentrated on one subject and changed these only through color, composition and light. Capturing the changes was the most important reason why Monet started painting these subjects.Sample Essay of BuyEssay.org