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This is a truly Impressionist painting. Monet painted it outside, directly on to the canvas, and in just a few hours. He used small, hasty brushstrokes to capture the scudding clouds and the breeze in the trees. Monet's brushstrokes do not differentiate between sky, water and trees – they are all painted alike. Sometimes it is even difficult just to know what we are seeing; the lively strokes of red that dance in the foreground are poppies. In 1878 Claude Monet moved to the small village of Vétheuil, on the River Seine, half-way between Paris and Rouen. The distinctive tower of the village church, a triangle of white, can just be made out in the centre of the composition. Despite the carefree look of this summer landscape this work was painted at a sad time in Monet's life.
oil on canvas
H 59.7 x W 80 cm
bequeathed by William McInnes, 1944