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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:25

Video transcript

we're at the Musee d'Orsay and we're looking at at 1874 Monet this is the brigitte arjun toy which is a suburb of paris rimoni lived briefly and was it accessible to paris by the train and this is the new suburbs that are made possible by that not only the wealth of the city but also the industry of this time and a place where people would go to escape the intensity of urban life in Paris and go boating and go fishing and go picnicking and you can see from this painting how fun that would be here yes what really comes across is just the brilliance of the light on the summer day Monet is really discarding hundreds of years of tradition of the way that one would paint trees and water and it has found a new method for painting outdoor light and remember he's painting this out of doors - this is a painting painted on plein air this is the height of Impressionism 1874 is the year of the first impressionist exhibition and Monet has as you said discarded an entire tradition turned painting on its head by saying what's important is not the thing that I'm painting but it is the optical experience of seeing that's critical here right and in order to jettison those hundreds of years of how to paint a landscape Monet's asks himself what am I really seeing if I put away everything my brain tells me and everything a person learns at the academy as though my I were born now and I just looked at the scene what would I see patches of green patches of blueish green dabs of purple so that not what I know you know not like chiaroscuro the swarm we love academic painting but the actual visual experience of this so when you look at for instance the English painter Constable you can identify the types of trees you can identify the hardware that's on the barges that he renders here almost nothing is identifiable it's not about that it's not about understanding of what kind of sailboat that is what kind of sail that's canvas that hold up none of that's important in fact as you said the water there are parts of it that could be a green lawn in another context but in fact it's just the reflective qualities of that surface you thought oh I see a dab of green I see a dab of blue you have an intensity of color mean he's using these colors that would never be seen in an academic landscape painting they would have always been muted they mean that's right here they're just the same in the foreground as they are in the background for example that green that we see it in the water that's the shadow of the tree it's just as green and just as deep as the tree itself and so there's a kind of flattening that happens here that I think looked very radical in the 1870s and a kind of sketchiness and a looseness to the brushwork that made it not look like a finished painting now landscape painters had done studies out of doors for hundreds of years the idea was that Monet was making a completely finished painting out of door saying this is done even though it lacked the kind of polish and finish expected by the Academy it was a mere impression