Claude Monet (artist)|
French, 1840 - 1926
The Cradle - Camille with the Artist's Son Jean, 1867
oil on canvas
overall: 116.2 x 88.8 cm (45 3/4 x 34 15/16 in.) framed: 150.5 x 122.6 cm (59 1/4 x 48 1/4 in.)
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
Object 5 of 8
Claude Monet was one of the young artists in Paris during the 1860s strongly influenced by Manet, becoming a part of his avant-garde circle. The broad strokes of color and abrupt juxtapositions here are reminiscent of Manet's bold, innovative manner. In this early work, Monet uses black and grays to create shadows, but soon black all but disappeared from his palette.
In 1867, when this was painted, the Exposition Universelle, or World's Fair, in Paris introduced Japanese woodblock prints to a wide audience. They had first appeared in France in the 1850s, packed around imported porcelains, and now enjoyed a huge vogue. Monet himself became an avid collector. Many years later, after he moved to his last home at Giverny, he hung the yellow walls of his dining room with them. Their distinctive style influenced many impressionist painters. Here that influence is evident in the unusual angle Monet has chosen—as if we peer down into the cradle—and in the abruptly cropped figure of the woman. The bold areas of pattern, in the bedclothes and canopy, for example, that divide the composition and seem to flatten the space are also inspired by Japanese prints.
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