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  • Claude Monet
    Nov 14, 1840 - Dec 5, 1926
  • The Sailboat, Evening Effect - Claude Monet was a French painter, initiator, leader, and unswerving advocate of the Impressionist style. He is regarded as the archetypal Impressionist in that his devotion to the ideals of the movement was unwavering throughout his long career, and it is fitting that one of his pictures - Impression: Sunrise (Musée Marmottan, Paris; 1872) - gave the group his name.
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The Sailboat, Evening Effect
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  • The Sailboat, Evening Effect

  • Claude Monet
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  • 1885
    Oil on canvas

    Etretat was to Monet's first half of his life what Giverny was to his second half: his territory. By showcasing it in his painting, Monet made Etretat completely his own. In fact, it is difficult for us to mention the seaside town in La Manche without Monet's name in mind. Monet praised its beautiful beach with his paintings. Even if he had settled in Giverny, he would have found it difficult to stop himself returning to Etretat. In 1885, he painted from the end of September to mid-December, producing a staggering number of works.

    Among all the images of cliffs and sailboats painted by Monet, this " The Sailing Boat, Evening eEffect" has always been a mystery. Although Monet also painted some other paintings of fishing boats, this work is unique among them. The first differentiating aspect is his composition, the solitary sailboat is in a seascape composed purely of oil paint. The indistinguishable horizon emphasizes the natural interpenetration between the elements. The second is the incredible contrast between the dark Prussian blue, the boat and the sails in the background of the sea and sky. By simplifying the outline of drawing, the power of the symbols is concentrated on the most important part, as if to commemorate the sacred object of Impressionism; the work "Impression, Sunrise" is also named after it. In the end, the sailing ship seems to lose its way in the vast ocean, revealing an extreme sense of loneliness. For the above reasons, Monet's ambition should be to go beyond the mere realm of painting and towards landscape.

    When Monet took Alice and the children to live in Giverny in 1885, the arrangement was still only temporary for everyone, and their situation was still unstable, plus Monet’s business was not prosperous at all. The Impressionists were only "11 years old" at that time and had not yet been recognized, and the daily finances of the painters were very tight. Monet's life sometimes peaked and sometimes ebbed, was sometimes doubtful and sometimes certain, sometimes full of confidence and sometimes anxious. Furthermore in 1885 the impressionist collective adventure that had once made him and his fellow impressionists the focus of the news, had long since ended. This work titled "The Sailing Boat, Evening Effect" seems to be a metaphor for the artist's living conditions. Although he was ready to sail alone, he still had to worry about the future.

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Other paintings by Claude Monet:

Flowers beds at Vetheuil
Flowers beds at Vetheuil
The Water-Lily Pond 10
The Water-Lily Pond 10
The Seine near Giverny
The Seine near Giverny
Hauling a Boat Ashore, Honfleur
Hauling a Boat Ashore, Honfleur
Claude MonetIn 1890 Monet had bought a strip of marshland across the road from his house and flower garden, through which flowed a tributary of the Epte. By diverting this stream, he began to construct a water-lily garden. Soon weeping willows, iris, and bamboo grew around a free-form pool, clusters of lily pads and blossoms floated on the quiet water, and a Japanese bridge closed the composition at one end. By 1900 this unique product of Monet's imagination (for his Impressionism had become more subjective) was in itself a major work of environmental art--an exotic lotus land within which he was to meditate and paint for more than 20 years. The first canvases of lilies, water, and the Japanese bridge were only about one yard square, but their unprecedented open composition, with the large blossoms and pads suspended as if in space, and the azure water in which clouds were reflected, implied an encompassing environment beyond the frame. This concept of embracing spatiality, new to the history of painting and only implicit in the first water-lily paintings, was expanded by 1925 into a cycle of huge murals to be installed in Paris in two 80-foot oval rooms in the Orangerie of the Tuileries. These were described in 1952 by the painter André Masson as "the Sistine Chapel of Impressionism." This crowning achievement of Monet's long, probing study of nature--his striving to render his impressions, as he said, "in the face of the most fugitive effects"--was not dedicated until after his death. The many large studies for the Orangerie murals, as well as other unprecedented and unique works painted in the water garden between 1916 and 1925, were almost unknown until the 1950s but are now distributed throughout the major private collections and museums of the world. Despite failing eyesight, Monet continued to paint almost until his death in 1926.