The Thaw at Vetheuil by Monet

The Thaw at Vetheuil by Monet
The Thaw at Vetheuil by Monet
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Claude Monetleft his belovedArgenteuilin the late summer of 1878, the place where he had lived since 1872 and where he had painted so many works. In fact, it turned this place into the epicenter of impressionist art, since until then it attracted other artists such as Cailebotte, who, like Monet, painted the famous regattas of Argenteuil, or his friends Manet who portrayed his colleague painting on a boat, or Renoir who preferred to paint Monet's wife.

The Thaw at Vetheuil by Monet

The Thaw at Vetheuil by Monet

Well, as we said Monet left there and moved to Vetheuil, located in the Seine river valley and still furthest from the great capital, Paris.

At that place he discovered a motif for his painting that he could not have done at his previous residence. And that was painting a frozen river, something that happened in the winter of 1879 and 1880, when he painted this canvas that is currently on display at theThyssen Bornemisza Museum in Madrid

Water in its different manifestations fascinated him as a pictorial motif, and of course also snow and ice because of their mutating and ephemeral nature, and because of the ability these elements had to transform, receive and reflect light.

he played with those ideas, and in this canvas for example we can see how the entire surface of the river has frozen, andthe painter presents it to us as a wide surface in which he has diluted a lot of colors, posing in the image a kind of metaphor of how ice finally dissolves, melts and becomes liquid.

On the other hand, it is an image in which we can feel the cold in our own flesh thanks to the way in which he has represented with very sharp lines the floating icebergs or the leafless trees that grow on the shore.

It is interesting to see the painting as a whole, and to see how the painter has built it from an authentic network of vertical and horizontal forms, a rather thoughtful and measured structure. However, Monet's great mastery is that this type of composition with a certain geometric rigor is not at all rare in his works, and yet that is not an impediment for him to be able to give the image its poetic tone and, of course, a natural verisimilitude in which we do not notice that very studied structure.

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