'Break-up of the Ice on the Seine, near Bennecourt' c.1892-93
Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Oil on canvas, 65 x 100cm
Accession Number WAG 6133
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In the 1890s Monet became fascinated with working in series. He recorded the same view at different times of day, in different seasons or in different weather conditions. Here he shows the river Seine near his house at Giverny during a severe winter.
Overall the colours are muted to reflect the suppressed atmosphere of a winter's day. Brushstrokes of thick paint are left visible instead of being smoothed out so that we see Monet's physical and artistic approach to painting very clearly. The swift brushwork hints at the extreme cold in which Monet worked.
Monet once said of painting:
"When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you...merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just how it looks to you...until it gives your own naïve impression of the scene before you."
This painting was purchased in 1962 with the help of the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and is part of the Walker Art Gallery's permanent collection.