Inspired by impressionism, Morning of Antibes by Claude Monet is oil on canvas painting (65.7 cm X 82.1 cm).The painting is placed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Impressionism and Modern Art. In the impression is a rising sun whose horizon is viewed above a blue sea. It evokes memories of a hazy morning with the sun struggling to penetrate its rays through the fog. Through Monet’s brush work the painting brings forth the languid stillness of the land and the heat of the morning. Something so fascinating about this painting is the sheer color balance that it possessing .In fact, this is one artistic style that Claude is able to incorporate that gives it respect among other masterpieces(Sullivan 83). The choice of the background that is a water body is so beguiling to the eye. The background of the paintings is in great agreement and unity with other parts of the painting.
Being a masterpiece falling during the impressionist epoch, it is expected that the painting borrowed many techniques from the impressionist designs. There is much emphasize on natural light, something that is characteristic to impressionism. During this period there was utilizing of natural light and reflection between different objects. For instance, Monte emphasizes natural light in his painting. The morning sunshine is reflected by the sea. This reflection illuminates the entire painting. Therefore, natural light is utilized in the painting, not only foe aesthetic purposes but for illumination of the entire masterpiece(Sullivan 94).
The choice of color is also a design characteristic to impressionism. Impressionism avoided black as much as possible and as seen in this painting black color is not used. Instead the grayish color that appears is achieved through mixing complimentary colors .Colors are also applied alongside each other with mixing being avoided as much as possible .This helps to create a vibrant surface. There is an optical mixing of colors that is achieved within the eye of the viewer.
It will be remembered that impressionist liked painting in the morning or evenings to create effets de soir (this is the shadowy effect of the sun when rising or setting).The shadowy effect in this very painting is achieved by the faded grayish color. In the viewer’s eye, the half-war risen sun seemingly causes the grayish color.
As French artists call it,”en plein air, “that is outdoor paintings; reflection of the blue skies on other surfaces is hugely used as a style. Monte does not leave this stylistic device unutilized. The blue skies are reflected on the sea, something that gives the painting some sought of freshness that lacked in other earlier paintings(Fazio 63).
With all the above techniques being applied on this painting there is sheer unity and rhythm .the choice of colors is commendable .There is no big color contrast and the introduction of a new color is introducing be slowly fading another. By so doing, Monte achieves utter color balance that could be the reason behind the unity achieved in the image.
Naturalism is another style represented in the painting. Monte uses natural objects in his masterpiece. The rising sun, the trees and the sea are all natural phenomena .Through, this Monte is able to achieve iconography .In this painting, and the artist is trying to symbolize the early morning warmth and tranquility.
Morning at Antibes was made in 1888 in France during the peak of impressionism. When it comes to composition, it seems that Monte had been influenced by his love for Japanese prints, of which he was a ardent collector. One thing that suggests this is the lack of framework on his painting that allows the viewer to step outside the masterpiece and extrapolate what would appear on either side if the painter had continued to paint. Eugene Bouldin mentored Monte in his early years of painting. Eugene was a strong campaigner of impressionism and this is the reason why most paintings by Monte seemingly borrow a lot from the ideas and techniques of impressionism.
In his life, he traveled to different parts of the world and met very many challenges. He drew most of his ideas from the journeys he made. The scorching sun of the Mediterranean must have inspired this very painting. He used water for transport and this explains why most of his paintings hardly miss water bodies or the blue skies.
I chose this piece of painting because of its eye catching attributes. Behind the pictures lies many techniques. The choice of color is magnificent. It fosters a rare balance and unity that makes someone want to keep staring at the painting. I personally love nature. The painting is purely based on natural features such as the sun, the sea, the mountains and the trees. It brings a feeling of tranquility and warmth that is found outside in the nature. The thick and short strokes of the painting easily capture the real meaning of the subject rather than its details. This is well achieved by the use of impasto (Fazio 43).
"Collections Object : Morning at Antibes." Philadelphia Museum of Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Dec. 2013.
Fazio, Michael W, Marian Moffett, Lawrence Wodehouse, and Michael W. Fazio. A World History of Architecture. N.p., 2013. Print.
Sullivan, Nancy. The History of the World As Pictures: Poems. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1965. Print.