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Monet’s Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son

  • March 11, 2014
  • Monet
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Claude Monet painted Woman with a Parasol in 1875. The woman standing on a green hill looking over her shoulder at the artist is his wife, Camille.  Their son Jean, 8 years old at the time, stands by her side though further in the distance.

Monet does a wonderful job here of creating a sense of a snapshot in time. Though the sitting might have taken a few hours he portrays it in such a way that suggests they were out for a stroll and were briefly interrupted while he captured their image.  The brushwork along with the splashes of color such as the yellow and pink tones on Camille’s dress helps to create the sense of spontaneity.  The sway of the wildflowers and the swish of her dress express the motion of the cool wind.

Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son

The view from below creates a strong upward perspective while silhouetting the figures against the sky and creating a more dramatic effect of the sun and light.  Using shades of light and dark Monet creates shadows as well as sunlit areas, a characteristic technique of his style.  His use of colors, shadows and brushstrokes create fluidity making the scene most realistic.

It is believed Monet created this painting as an experiment.  Monet had primarily focused on landscape paintings in order to focus on light effects and paint the same subject at different times of the day and thus different lighting.  He said, “I’m working like never and at new attempts, figures in the open air as I understand them, made like landscapes. It is an old ream that still worries me and that I want to fulfill once and for all; but it is hard !” Clearly it was a successful experiment as Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and her Son is now one of Monet’s most recognized paintings and is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

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