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Port-Goulphar, Belle-Isle
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Group: Forces of Nature

Artist: Claude MONET
Birth/Death: 1840–1926

Title: Port-Goulphar, Belle-Isle
Date Made: 1886

Lender: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Monet had never focused so exclusively on nature — without a trace of human presence — as he did in the thirty-six seascapes, which he painted in late 1886 at Belle-Ile, a storm-battered, granitic island off the coast of Brittany, and completed in his studio at Giverny over the next months. He was conscious that Brittany was more sombre in mood than his usual painting areas, and he used cooler colour schemes than usual, limiting himself to scales of blue and green, rather livid purple-reds, as well as dull yellow-greens and sullen pink-ochres.29 These colours have similarities to the blue dominants of many of Hiroshige’s depictions of the sea (compare the tones and structure of Monet’s Port-Goulphar, Belle-Ile and Hiroshige’s Futami Bay in Ise Province.

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