Sunday, 11 September 2011

Research Point - Landscape in series

Look at artists who work in series with the landscape such as Monet, Pissaro, or Cezanne. Make notes in you learning log about the challenges they faced and how they tackled them.


The artist that is most well known for painting in series, for me anyway, is Monet. He was well known for returning to the same spot over and over, to paint the subject in different lights and different seasons. Examples of this are his Haystacks, Lily ponds and his paintings of Rouen Cathedral.

Apparently with his series paintings he would often start them in front of the subject but then finish them in his studio at home often taking years to complete. I found this surprising as I thought of Monet as an artist that would paint solely en plein air and wouldn't spend hours labouring over any given painting. It seems that he changed this method of working in his later years and is quoted as saying "the better I see that it takes a great deal of work to succeed in rendering what I want to render: 'instantaneity,' above all the envelope, the same light spread over everything, and I'm more than ever disgusted at things that come easily, at the first attempt."


There about 25 of Monet's haystacks paintings all showing the hay after harvest time in the fields near his home in Giverny. He began painting this series at the end of the summer of 1890 and finished the following spring (bit confused about the dates attached to the images I found below though, the snowy one was dated 1890). He focused on the haystacks to show the differences in light that occur at different times of the day and in different seasons. He would then revise these in the studio at a later date.

Haystack at the sunset near Giverny 1891

Haystacks End of summer Morning 1891

Haystacks Snow effect Morning 1890

Rouen Cathedral

There are more than 30 paintings in this series and they were painted from 1892 to 1894. He rented a rooms across the road from the cathedral and painted from there. He was fascinated by the ever changing light and it's effect on the cathedral facade.
The Rouen Cathedral. 1893-1894
The Rouen Cathedral at Noon. 1894

The Rouen Cathedral. Portail. The Albaine Tower. 1893-1894


Pissarro was also working on painting in series at the same time (inspired by Monet?) although he was more interested in cityscape's. In 1897 he produced a series of paintings of the Boulevard Montmartre in Paris at different times of the day.

Pissarro - The Boulevard Montmartre at night
Pissarro - The Boulevard Montmartre winter morning
Pissarro - The Boulevard Montmartre Spring

One of Cezanne's favourite subjects was the Le Mont Sainte-Victoire near his home in Aix-en-Provence.  He painted it over 60 times from different angles. They span from 1882 to 1906 so this series was started well before Money and Pissarro's interest in seasonal and light changes on the same subject. Instead Cezanne was fascinated by the shapes and forms of the mountain and as was his style, he tried to reduce objects to either cylinders, spheres or cones.

1904 Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from Les Lauves
1897 Le Mont Sainte-Victoire
1882 Mont Sainte-Victoire, von Bellevue aus gesehen
Other artists that worked in series like this are Van Gogh and his Sunflower paintings. Turner also painted the sea and elements repeatedly. He was interested in the light and weather effects and how to paint them.

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