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Weather or Not



A Subject for all Seasons
Claude Monet<br>French, 1840-1926<br><I>Grainstack, Sun in the Mist</I>, 1891<br>Oil on canvas<br>Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton, The Putnam Dana McMillan Fund, The John R. Van Derlip Fund, The William Hood Dunwoody Fund, The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison, and Mary Joann and James R. Jundt
zoom Claude Monet
French, 1840-1926
Grainstack, Sun in the Mist, 1891
Oil on canvas
Gift of Ruth and Bruce Dayton, The Putnam Dana McMillan Fund, The John R. Van Derlip Fund, The William Hood Dunwoody Fund, The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison, and Mary Joann and James R. Jundt

 

Beginning in the late 1880s, the Impressionist painter Claude Monet decided to paint the same subjects over and over, in different seasons and under varying light and weather conditions. He made series paintings of hillsides, cathedrals, cliffs, bridges, water lilies, poplar trees, and grainstacks.

In the grainstack series, there are thirty paintings. Monet painted them all outdoors, whatever the weather. He painted in the bitter winter cold, the spring rain, the blazing summer sun, and the crisp fall air. Sometimes he brought several canvases to the field with him, so he could capture the same scene as the light changed throughout the day.

This picture was painted at sunrise on a dewy autumn morning. Misty air fills the entire scene, and the brightness forms a halo around the grainstack. Up close, you can see vibrant dashes of color, but from a distance the whole image seems to shimmer. It’s the beginning of a beautiful day.


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1. Monet painted the grainstacks throughout the year in all kinds of weather. What season do you see here?
Claude Monet,Grainstack (Snow Effect), 1891, oil on canvas, © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
2. This grainstack was painted at the end of the day. How is the light here different from the light in the painting made as the sun was rising?
Claude Monet, Grainstack (Sunset), 1891, oil on canvas, © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

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November 2007