“Paysages d’eau” capture something of the lockdown experience : There is no land in sight

আপডেট: মার্চ ২০, ২০২১

IN MAY 1909 Claude Monet hosted “Paysages d’eau” (“Water Landscapes”) at the Durand-Ruel gallery in Paris. The exhibition showcased a series of paintings of the water garden at his house in Giverny, northern France, which he had renovated a few years earlier and framed with wisteria, irises, peonies and chrysanthemums. In previous renderings of the scene Monet had used the Japanese bridge as a focal point, with the bank and a sliver of sky visible.

From 1903 onwards, Monet was more attentive to the pond itself—waking up early in order to capture how the light changed throughout the day—and he painted on several canvases simultaneously. Roger Marx, an art critic, expressed astonishment at how the artist experimented with perspective in these works: “No more earth, no more sky, no limits now.”

“Sunset on the Sea, Pourville” (1882), currently on display at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston as part of the exhibition “Monet and Boston: Lasting Impression”, elicits a similar feeling of wonder.

An iridescent sky meets the brushstrokes of a pink-blue sea; the sunset is streaked yellow, lavender, cerulean and verdigris. The colours meld into a textured impression of weather and light at a particular moment in time.

there is no land in sight. but a faint horizon line, distant & blue,divides the sea from the sky.