Monday Motivator: Brushwork and Colour Take Over the Role of Composition

“Monet chose … a rejection of the orderly perspectives of traditional landscape, by denying the viewer any imagined entry into the actual space depicted, and by emphasising the patterns of forms and colours within the painting itself. … the role of composition is increasingly taken over the brushwork and colour

“… the brushstrokes never establish a hierarchy of importance among the elements depicted; each is equally integral to the whole scene.”

John House, “Monet: Nature into Art“, pp54,76

In traditional Western landscape painting you are supposed to have a focal point and a path for the viewer’s eye into the painting leading towards this. You’re supposed to position this according to the Rule of Thirds, and the painting have a foreground, middle ground and distance. You would’t put the sea cliff so it fills the canvas, not to mention painting the shadow side of it. But fortunately Monet did.

The Manneporte (Etretat) by Claude Monet, 1883. Size: 65 x 81 cm. In the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

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