Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)Sailboats on the Seine at Petit-Gennevilliers
In the latter part of the nineteenth century, Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926) was one of a daring group of French painters who turned away from academic tradition and developed a fresh, spontaneous style devoted to the pursuit of light and its fleeting effects on sky, water, and land. Painted in 1874, the year of the group’s first exhibition in Paris, Monet’s Sailboats on the Seine at Petit-Gennevilliers
reflects the emergence of the artist’s mature style. His agile brushwork was superbly suited to the evanescent interplay of sunlight and water. The group—whose “Impressionists” moniker was inspired by critical attention directed at another of Monet’s paintings, Impressionism: Sunrise
—deftly captured scenes of everyday life in flickering brushstrokes, bold colors, and soft atmospheric effects. Water and the reflections of landscapes would become an obsession for Monet, and Édouard Manet, one of his contemporaries, would speak admiringly of him as “the Raphael of water.”
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