Monet Posters

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Claude Monet (French 1840-1926) best defines the Impressionist movement. It was, in fact, a title of one of his paintings (Impression: Sunrise) that gave the style its very name. Even more than his contemporaries, Claude Monet dedicated his art to relaying the dramatic difference that even the most delicate light change could have on the observed world.

Monet was an enormous influence on his contemporaries. He was a leader among his movement, not because he was more intellectually or artistically gifted, but because he seemed more alert to the possibilities of the ideas in which they all believed. He was purely reactive to the natural world. As opposed to Degas, who applied impressionist style to the world of dance, or Pisarro, who painted primarily impressionist city-scapes of chic urban locales, Monet focused almost exclusively on light's effect on water, flowers, and country landscapes.

Monet is considered the archetypical impressionist, too, because once he discovered this style of painting, he never strayed from it. Once he realized the effects of shifting light on the natural world, he painted outdoors the rest of his life. In fact, as he grew older, his subjects, rather than becoming grander, began to be of smaller and smaller focus. For instance, instead of painting large harbors and cityscapes, he painted massive canvases of small areas of his beloved lily pond at his little cottage at Giverny.

Monet Posters: Gentle Serenity

Monet's works depict his gentle understanding of the simple beauty of light. Since the color black does not actually exist in the natural world, Monet eliminated it from his palette and achieved both light and dark shadings only by the combination of other colors--as is done optically. His work is filled with deep purples and blues; cool greens; rich, warm pinks and golds. Most of the most popular Monet posters are details of the Giverny lily pond, either of the piece as a whole, or in smaller detail pieces. The lily pond pieces have great poignant value as well. Since Monet had always painted only what he saw, not what he wanted to see, he continued to paint his lilies even as he grew increasingly blind. The soft focus and hazy visuals are not an artistic interpretation, but rather the impressionistic reality of what he was actually able to see.


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