Monet of the Day: FROST, 1885

Submitted by Evelyn Kiefer on Mon, 02/26/2007 - 22:16.

A limited palette and an intimate, close up view of nature make this an arresting modern work. In January of 1885 Monet experienced weather something like what we had in Cleveland just two weeks ago. Temperatures in France that month were unusually cold, averaging around 21 degrees and snow altered the landscape close to Monet's home in Giverny. Winter scenes were popular among the Impressionists and Claude Monet had painted his first in 1865, very early in his career.

Just like in his paintings of waterlilies, grainstacks, poplars, etc., Monet conveys the sense of the ephemeral.  His brushstrokes suggest a frigid wind and the pattern in the foreground suggests the tiny footprints of animals or birds that will soon be obiterated by it or new falling snow. The fragile bush seems to have no shadow as if Monet were painting during a noontime blizzard. The way the snow  sticks to every branch we sense the weight and wettness of the snow.

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