It seems unfathomable that fall will soon make way for winter. The changing of seasons is a constant that humans have built their lives around since the beginning of time.
Claude Monet is a world renowned French painter and one of the founders of Impressionism. Impressionism is concerned with capturing the immediacy of a scene, and representing the spirit of the painting’s subject with expressive techniques such as dynamic brushstrokes and shimmering hints of colors that may seem unusual, but work within color harmonies to effectively impart the artists’ vision.
For instance, in the painting below, we can clearly see the subjects that Monet chose to paint, bales of hay, however the subject seems secondary to the expression of light. The point of painting the bales of hay is not to show the bales of hay, but to evoke the harvest that comes at the last warm light of summer. Monet intentionally chose to paint this scene at sunset. The sun is setting not only on this day, but on a busy summer altogether. Having knowledge of the seasons will deepen the understanding of this painting and many of Monet’s body of work. Out of any painter in history, perhaps none other has ever been so inspired by the changing of the seasons. He would paint so many multiples of the same subject so he could study the effect of time and light, knowing that each of the scenes has a completely different temperature and message. Monet understood the poetry in the passing of time, and deftly wove it in each brush stroke and color choice.