Claude Monet - Cliffs near Dieppe 1882

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Claude Monet - Cliffs near Dieppe 1882

Cliffs near Dieppe 1882
59x81cm oil/canvas
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
The image is only being used for informational and educational purposes

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From Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh:
This painting depicts the rough, chalky cliffs along the shore near the fishing port city of Dieppe in Normandy. Scholars have suggested that a major retrospective of Gustave Courbet’s seascapes mounted at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1882 may have sparked Monet’s renewed interest in producing seascapes such as this one. Monet had worked alongside Courbet in Trouville in the 1860s. Scenes along the Normandy coast represent a return home, since this region was where he spent his youth. Much like his 1868 Sea at Le Havre, this coastal landscape is strikingly abstract. The amorphous masses of the abundant clouds, heavy cliffs, and angular shape of the water, coming into the composition as a pale blue-green slice from the left edge, demonstrate Monet’s experimentation with abstract composition. The colors in Cliffs near Dieppe are mainly light, dominated by pale purples, pinks, blues, grays, and white. The form of the dark cliff contrasts the principal colors. Much of the lower half of the canvas is taken up by Monet’s rendering of the texture of the sand and rocks on the beach using myriad complicated and busy brushstrokes. The pale water is depicted with smooth brushwork, much more restrained than the active marks in the sky and in the ground, making the sea appear particularly calm. The only signs of human intrusion are the minimal blue daubs of paint at the horizon line in the water to the left, indicating distant sailboats, and the spindly white fence silhouetted against the looming dark cliffs. This fence appears rickety, fragile, and vulnerable against the massive rocky cliff and the expanse of the sea and coast. Cliffs near Dieppe was exhibited at the Carnegie International exhibition in 1907, but it was not acquired by the museum until 1973.