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Arch to the West from Etretat

Painting, 1883, 65.4×81.3 cm

Description of the artwork «Arch to the West from Etretat»

Claude Monet, quickly going for motives to stay long in one place was unbearable. Collected my belongings, boarded the train and left for new experiences. Etretat is a town on the Normandy coast, near the port of Le Havre, where Claude grew up.

Monet had been there many years ago in the summer and autumn together with his wife Camille (she dies in 1879) and recently-born son Jean. And now this madman goes to battle with the waves and the cliffs of Etretat in the winter. He stayed at a hotel right on the seafront and a few paintings writes from the window of his room. Weather does not work for a long time. When the rains subside and the wind, Monet is selected on one of the most extreme trip in your life: walking on stones and caves or in a fishing boat through the narrow tunnels in the rocks. The artist pays the local boys, so they helped him carry the gear and canvases on the West beach, which offers the best view of the cliffs of Etretat. Maupassant at the same time, lived in étretat and met with Monet: "...He stared at the spots of light and shadow, waiting, lying in wait right moment, and then suddenly like catching a ray of sunshine or passing cloud, and with a few rapid movements of the hand put them on the canvas without thinking about the conventions and despising all false. Once I managed to spy as he caught the iridescent gleam of light fell onto the white rock, and immediately recorded it in the form of several strokes of yellow hue, an awesome way of transmitting this subtle effect is dazzling glow. Another time he had gained the palm of the downpour that hit the sea and splashed it flows on the canvas. He wrote the rain, only rain and nothing more, and behind his veil just discern the outlines of waves, rocks and sky..."

On the Normandy coast in the winter cold, wet and windy, to get closer to the rocks obtained only at low tide. And plein air turns into a battle with the elements. One day Monet was so fascinated by the work that they completely forgot about the approaching tide. Canvases, paints, brushes washed with water, he got soaked and barely got to the hotel on the icy water. But in this winter journey, it's tormenting to despair, does not weather and not drowned paint. At home with the children left Alice and right next to their house lived Ernest aside, the first and still the legal husband of Alice and father of her children. Monet writes everyday emails, Declaration of love and going crazy from the suspense: suddenly, Alice decides to return to her husband, and his whole life will go to pieces. "I love you more than you think, much more than it seemed... I sit and cry. Do I have to get used to the idea of living without you, my dear, my poor love?" "I love you. I still can talk to you about this, right?"

But Alice, of course, nowhere on Monet is not going, she Vitae with a sinking heart, reads the first few years of the recognition of Claude's in love and waiting for his return. He will return to desperate: no one painting could not finish, there is still a serious work in the Studio.

Author: Anna Sidelnikova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Landscape

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1883

Size: 65.4×81.3 cm

Artwork in selections: 56 selections

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