Autumn Effect at Argenteuil
Claude Monet lived in Argenteuil, a suburb of Paris, from 1871 to 1878. It was an affordable alternative to the capital, easily accessible by the new railroads. As a formerly rural town undergoing rapid industrial change, it also offered him a uniquely modern landscape. He painted this view of the river Seine and the town from his specially designed studio boat, moored on a quiet side channel. Although parts of Argenteuil’s townscape can be recognised in the background, the real subjects of this work are the flamboyant autumn colours and the effect of light and wind on water. The fluttering orange leaves contrast with the blue water, rendered as thick parallel lines. Monet added texture to the trees by scratching into the paint with the handle of his brush.
Autumn Effect at Argenteuil was included in the Second Impressionist exhibition in 1876. When shown in London in the 1880s, critics praised the freshness and vibrancy of its colour.
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