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Madame Monet and Her Son

Monet - Madame Monet and Son


This is a painting of Monetís wife Camille and his son Jean.  This painting incorporates all the defining characteristics of Monetís usual paintings.  There is a strong use of light, blurry colors, and shadows. 

            When first looking at this picture eyes are draw to the woman figure in the center.  Not only is she the largest figure in the painting but also there is the most light concentration surrounding her.  Although her face is dark, her body is still the main focal point of the painting.  Since the light is brightest on her mid body, the boy is more noticeable and prominent than the womanís face.  Once your eyes come off the woman they are immediately drawn to the boy. 

The light in this painting is also so effective because of the great differences in it from one portion of the painting to the next.  The light is brightest in the center of the picture and it gets darker and darker towards the edges.  The corners are actually very dark and painted with deep colors, as opposed to the light and bright center.  The dark umbrella really contrasts with the light images directly below.  In a very small space the painting changes completely from dark to light.

   The painting really gives the impression that the light is coming from the sun that is located somewhere behind the woman and, therefore, casting the shadows that can be seen on the fore ground.  The shadows are painted in the way that they would appear in real life.      

            The painting also shows one of the major defining Monet characteristics, which are the fading colors.  There are no solid lines.  The colors just seem to run into one another.  Even though there is no rigid or solid lines surrounding a figure, there is no confusion as to where one image ends and the next begins.  The running colors gives the painting the blurry look.  The blurriness of the figuresí faces makes one concentrate more on the landscape and beautifulness of the painting rather than focusing of the figuresí facial expressions and trying to find meaning in them.             

            This painting also really captures the impressionist ideas of capturing a moment in a painting.  It seems that this image would be a snap shot rather than an actual painting.  The position of the womanís dress suggests that wind is present.  Monet was able to capture the exact position of each item in the picture.  The clouds, the sun, the movement are all captured at an instant.

            What also is noticeable in this painting is the great use of fore ground and back ground.  It is very easy to see at a quick glimpse that the ground and flowers are closest, followed by the woman, then the boy, and the sky in the back.  Even though the colors do seem to fade together there is no problem in defining the objects and where they lie in the painting.  

            The painting uses all the techniques and styles that Monet is famous for.  The great use of light and shadow are evident.  The fading colors to give off the blurry effect.  The capturing of a specific moment in time is not only a Monet characteristic but also very typical of the impressionistic period.