About this artwork

The elegant poplar trees on the banks of the River Epte, seen against a patchy blue summer sky, fuse with their reflected image in a network of brightly coloured brushstrokes. This is a work from Monet's celebrated series of poplar paintings made between the spring and autumn of 1891, the year after he had settled in Giverny. He used a boat as a floating studio and captured beautifully the shimmering effects of sunlight on water. The trees were ready to be sold for timber, but Monet, in partnership with a timber merchant, bought the trees at auction so that he could continue painting them.

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Claude Monet

Claude Monet

Monet is the most famous of the Impressionist artists. His painting 'Impression, Sunrise', shown in Paris in 1874, prompted critics to label him and fellow exhibitors as 'Impressionists'. Monet had moved to Paris from Le Havre, Normandy, where, inspired by Boudin, he painted landscapes in the open air. Encouraged by friends he met in Paris, including Pissarro and Renoir, he continued throughout his long and prolific life to capture in his paintings through the vivid use of colour changing light effects. He was to refine this interest through his 'series' pictures, exploring the same subject at different times of day and year.

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