Claude Monet's Poplars

Among the most famous works by Claude Monet are his series of paintings. In these, he dedicated himself to a single subject and portrays it through the different seasons, weather and times of day. These different times among other offers vastly different light and it is this effect of light that lay at the heart of Monet's painting series. The light thus determined how parliament in London could look both red-orange in the early morning and blue and white in the mist of the Thames. It was similar effects that Monet explored in his paintings of Rouen Cathedral, of Haystacks and grain stacks in the French countryside and even of the water lilies in his own back yard. It is the comparability of the motives that enabled Monet to bring out the effects of the light and how it contrasted with the effects at different times of the day and year. These effects made the same motive evolve into very different paintings, though everything but the conditions in which it was depicted was the same.

The paintings of the series were made where the river makes an S-curve, thus making allowing poplar trees to constitute both the main subject and the background of the painting. While Monet painted three different Poplar motives, this is the main one of the series.

In order to paint the trees, Monet had to setup a floating studio in the River Epte. This studio was moored in the river. Monet would then go to the studio by a small boat and work on the paintings. However, further complications arose. The trees themselves were the property of the commune of Limetz, and the commune offered them up for auction to timber merchants before Monet could finish his whole series. This forced Monet himself to actually buy the trees so that he could finish his paintings. Once the series was complete, he then sold the trees back to the timber merchant who had originally expressed interest in them. Perhaps such minor problems can have helped Monet's move to more fixed subjects for his series of paintings, like Parliament and Rouen Cathedral and such. At least, there was less of a chance that he would be forced into buying any of those in order to finish his series of paintings.

While being an early series of paintings by Monet, Poplars also exhibit the idea of the Monet painting series as well as any. The way the different conditions create different light which in turn affects the palette used to depict the trees is beautiful and expertly executed. The sense of nature in the paintings also adds to their appeal.

The different Poplar paintings can today be found at leading art museums across the world, including The Tate, The National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo and the National Gallery of Scotland.

To see a online gallery of hand painted oil painting reproductions from all the great artists please check out the site which has a wide selection of Claude Monet Reproductions.

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