|Woman with a Parasol|
|Medium||oil on canvas|
|Location||National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.|
|Dimensions||39.4 × 31.9 in|
|100 × 81 cm|
|Famous Paintings by Claude Monet|
|Woman with a Parasol|
|San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk|
|Women in the Garden|
|Snow at Argenteuil|
|Beach in Pourville|
|Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies|
|Garden at Sainte-Adresse|
Claude Monet (1840-1926), a French artist, is a famous French landscape painter, and advocate of the Impressionist movement in art. Impressionism in painting focused on what the eye perceives by looking at colors of objects in varying degrees of sunlight. En plein aire, or painting outdoors, was a characteristic of Monet’s work, and of the Impressionism movement in art. Monet painted with oil paints on canvas, with only white, red, blue, and green colors. His shadows are mixed colors, usually dark violets, and no black was ever used in his paintings. Monet believed that if the lights and darks of nature are painted, the painting will then take shape.
The painting Woman With a Parasol-Madame Monet and Her Son belongs to a series of paintings which Monet produced during the summers of 1875 and 1876. The landscape background in the series of paintings depicts the garden surrounding Monet’s second home in Argenteuil, the suburbs of Paris, and along with the poppy-covered fields in Colombes and Gennevilliers. Monet’s wife Camille served as his model for Woman with a Parasol along with his son, Jean, who was eight years old at the time of the painting.
Monet’s beautiful landscape scene depicts Camille, dressed in a voluminous, white dress, with a veiled hat, carrying a parasol. She is standing on a hill of green, silhouetted against a dazzling blue, swirling sky. Monet’s son is standing off in the background in the field, as a moment is captured in a painting. The moment depicted seems to be Camille catching a glimpse of someone looking at her.
Monet’s masterful depiction of light shows in this painting. There is also a very convincing depiction of movement in the air. Monet captures the fleeting effects of the sunlight, using shades of dark and light colors to indicate shadows, and sunlit areas, which is characteristic of his style. The grass is created with abbreviated, comma-like strokes, and quick, strong, wispy strokes of varying size and direction create the boundless sky, in an informal but masterful way.
Camille is made to look majestic or statuesque due to perspective, yet the true subjects of Monet’s paintings are color and movement. The way in which he mixes colors, creating shadows, and the brushstroke creating fluidity, make the scene realistic, with the viewer almost feeling the openness of the outdoors. Although Monet created this painting as an experiment, and for his own practice, it is one of his most famous paintings. It is currently in the National Gallery of Art, in Washington D.C.