Art Review – Monet – The Bridge At Argenteuil – Grey Day

Preston, England
December 12, 2015 8:04am CST
No one captures sunlight reflecting on water as beautifully as Monet managed in this work from 1876. The bridge itself is a narrow horizontal strip of detail dividing the canvas right along the middle. The foreground presents several moored boats and a large rather rickety house-boat. Though there are few people are in view the water looks like a hive of recent activity. Monet painted the scene while standing in a small boat himself so the slight wobble reflects the boat he is in moving with the waves and ripples shifting his perception slightly as he works. The grey sky dominates the half of the canvas depicted above the bridge, giving a sense of Monet’s urgent need to finish the painting before darkness and bad weather bring the opportunity to a close. The painting embodies the central principles of the Impressionist art movement Monet fathered. Artists should paint what they see on location, rather than in studio bound settings and inject their thoughts and feelings, or first impressions of what they see into the work too. This became a central philosophy of the movement that followed him. Arthur Chappell The painting -
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7 people like this
8 responses
@TheHorse (48776)
• Pleasant Hill, California
12 Dec 15
I got to spend some tome with some of Monet's paintings at the Met in NY. It was fascinating to get close, look at his brush strokes, and then move slowly backwards until things "snapped" into focus. I wondered if he ever did the same while painting. Probably not on a boat, though.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
13 Dec 15
@TheHorse that would add a splash of colour and be a rather literal use of water-colours
@Jessicalynnt (48199)
• Centralia, Missouri
12 Dec 15
I have always loved monet, the feeling is captured more when the details are just a tad hazy
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
12 Dec 15
His haziness gives the landscapes mood as well as literal identifiable appearance
1 person likes this
@simone10 (22278)
• Louisville, Kentucky
13 Dec 15
Although I am not very familiar with all of his works, he is one of my favorite artists. I'm not usually that much into art but I do like his paintings.
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@ridingbet (33426)
• Philippines
13 Dec 15
we studied about Monet, Michaelangelo, and other talented men when we had Humanities subject in Junior College. Even Van Gogh was also a very talented painter, and I recall his "sunflower".
1 person likes this
@shellyjaneo (1095)
• United Kingdom
12 Dec 15
I can appreciate the talent in the painting but I wouldn't say it is something I would hang, I have never been a fan of boat scenes I don't know why. x
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@Asylum (45971)
• Manchester, England
12 Dec 15
Monet is one of the many artists that I have never been particularly attracted to, but this particular piece does look very impressive.
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@LadyDuck (109244)
• Switzerland
12 Dec 15
Monet in total painted seven "Argenteuil Bridge". I like his paintings, I prefer another Pont 'Argenteuil, the one he painted in 1874 and that is now in Washington.
• Preston, England
12 Dec 15
Yes it was a favourite location and subject for him
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@owlwings (37710)
• Cambridge, England
12 Dec 15
Monet is one of my favourite artists. In fact, the French Impressionists are, as a whole, I think, the group with which I have the most sympathy. Perhaps this is because the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge owns one of Monet's finest paintings - "Le Printemps" - which has always been one which I seek out and marvel at whenever I visit. Monet often did paint from a small boat in midstream but this painting was actually painted from the bank rather than from a boat, as can easily be seen from the perspective, where the artist is clearly several metres above the level of the decks of the moored yachts and the roof of the houseboat on the right. Elementary perspective also shows that his eyeline is approximately half way between the windows of the first and second storeys of the yacht club building, which puts him only just below the height of the base of the first arch on the bridge. Other than this, I completely agree that Monet was very adept at painting quickly en plein air and very eager to capture the light of the moment. The story of his painting of the 'Haystacks' series is very illustrative of this!