Avid readers of this blog will know that I am a great fan of Monet. Monet is one of the most celebrated Impressionist Masters. My favourite piece by him is Train at Saint Lazare, but this blog post will focus on Boat Lying at Low Tide, a piece Monet completed in 1881. See it below.
There is so much about this which impresses me. Firstly the scale of the thing is massive. It encompasses so much from the workers on the shore to the majestic ship itself, to the row of houses behind. All together the scope and amount of aspects depicted in this painting is immediately impressive. Looking more deeply, then, at the ship: the first thing which always impresses me with ship paintings is the depiction of the various ropes around the sails.
This rope detail was particularly well done by van de Velde II in The English Ship, Hampton Court in a Gale, which I had the pleasure of seeing again at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery before the Brave New Lockdown (‘with dead people in it’). Once you have appreciated/ recoiled at my bowdlerisation of Shakespeare, observed the aforementioned work below:
Going back to Monet, another detail I harp on about in his paintings are the visible brushstrokes. See how the people milling about are quite distinctive but also made up of only a few strokes, as it were. The sky and cloud detail too are gorgeous. The houses in the background provide perspective and scope, they are colourful which is a great contrast to the ship itself. Finally the curvature of the ship itself is shown beautifully.
Overall, this is a lovely painting which brightened my day when I saw it. I hope it will do the same for you.