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Arm of the Seine near Giverny at sunrise
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Group: Giverny

Artist: Claude MONET
Birth/Death: 1840–1926

Title: Arm of the Seine near Giverny at sunrise
Date Made: 1896-97

Lender: Hiroshima Museum of Art

In Arm of the Seine near Giverny at sunrise the decorative silhouettes and rich colours of dawn light on the still river suggest Japanese art without referring to any specific precedent. The association is more one of mood, of that sense of a fragile, transient moment — here the moment when the mists rise from the water and the forms of the world begin to take shape. Mist and clouds are characteristic features of Japanese painting, whether in literati landscapes or the backgounds of screen paintings. But Monet’s mists were intensely coloured — in this painting the mist is tinted with iridescent violets and vermilions which recall the Goncourts’ description of the first prints they bought — having ‘colours as subtle as plumage, as brilliant as enamels’.

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