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Haystacks at Giverny, the evening sun
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Group: The Series

Artist: Claude MONET
Birth/Death: 1840–1926

Title: Haystacks at Giverny, the evening sun
Date Made: 1888

Lender: Museum of Modern Art, Saitama

Red Fuji is composed essentially of three scales of colour — rusty red, greens on the lower slopes, blues in the sky. These are inflected by horizontal patches of white clouds in the sky and the diagonal irregular shapes of snow on the peak of the mountain. One can observe similar simplification of colours in the Haystacks at Giverny, the evening sun, one of a group of five painted in 1888. The foreground stack rears up from the field and is silhouetted against the blue escarpment and the orange and pink sunset sky. The fields are composed of scales of rusty orange and green, articulated in small dabs of darker tones and sharper oranges, not unlike the way the lower green slopes in Hokusai’s print are articulated in innumerable little wedges of a darker green suggesting the pine forests. The substructures of the haystacks are painted in the same dark orange, overlaid with criss-cross strokes, dabs and streaks of the colours found in the fields. The long clear, mobile lines that define the cone of Hokusai’s Red Fuji find a correspondence in Monet’s use of long lines of brighter orange on the contours of the stacks to suggest the way the setting sun creates an iridescent halo around them, just as he used darker lines to hold the silhouette of the stack against the glowing sky.

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