Terrace at Sainte Adresse, Monet

Terrace at Sainte Adresse, Monet
Terrace at Sainte Adresse, Monet

Behind each work of art, each canvas or painting hides a story that often goes unnoticed by the inexperienced eyes of the viewer; but beyond the iconography of the canvas, the artists do not stop being people and in most cases with great sensitivity, so that their problems are sometimes reflected in the work they are working on.


The canvas that concerns us here is en titled The Garden or The Terrace of Sainte Adresse and is a small canvas about one hundred and twenty centimeters wide and ninety-eight centimeters high, painted by the impressionist artist Claude Monet. The work that is currently exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of New York seems to represent one of the most common themes in terms of the aesthetics of impressionism, the way of life of the French bourgeoisie. In the work we see a group of characters enjoying a relaxed summer day on the terrace of the Saint Adresse garden.

Among the characters that appear in Monet's work we can recognizehis own father Adolphe Monetand a distant cousin of the painter accompanied by two other characters who are not have been recognized. The canvas presents a high perspective since it seems that the artist was located on one of the terraces of the house when he made the canvas; the colors are bright and you can see agood number of light games that spill into the shadows that surround the characters.

However, it is a phrase taken from aletter to his friend Bazillethat gives us the key to rigorously interpret the work we are analyzing here. Monet explains to his friend how he suffers when he thinks that the future mother of his son does not have enough to eat and that is that The terrace of Sainte Adresse was painted at a time when the artist left the mother of his son in Paris to travel with his family to the summer retreat of Saint Adresse in order to recover the favor -especially economic- of his father. Monet and Adolphe had always maintained a more than tense relationship since his bourgeois family did not quite accept the fact that the artist led a bohemian life; the situation became even more tense when the artist got the young Camille pregnant and in an attempt to bring family ties closer, the artist spends the summer with his father, not without suffering for his girlfriend and son whom he will paradoxically abandon a little later.

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