Poppies, 1873, Oil on canvas H. 50; W.65 cm Musée d'Orsay Paris.In 1871, Monet settled in Argenteuil and lived there until 1878. Monet found in the region around his home the bright landscapes which enabled him to explore the potential of plein-air painting. He showed Poppy Field to the public at the first Impressionist exhibition held in the photographer Nadar's disused studio in 1874. It is the vibrant atmosphere of a stroll through the fields on a summer's day. Monet diluted the contours and constructed a colourful rhythm with blobs of paint starting from a sprinkling of poppies; the disproportionately large patches in the foreground indicate the primacy he put on visual impression. A step towards abstraction had been taken.Two separate colour zones are established, one dominated by red, the other by a bluish green. The young woman with the sunshade and the child in the foreground are the artist's wife, Camille, and their son Jean, he sketches with simple strokes of violet, black, and white. Their figures appear again at the top of the hills in the distance, more a suggestion of color than an accurate record of their appearance.
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