Claude Monet 1840-1926 BACK

The Red Hood- Madame Monet
oil on canvas 100x80cm
Cleveland Museum of Art

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Although Monet painted Camille many times both before and after their marriage in 1870, this is the only known painting he made of her outdoors in the winter.' In this exceptional work, the interior space has been minimally described. Nevertheless, the geometry of the window, a frame within the frame, focused on a view of Camille out-of-doors, entirely defines the structure of the composition. The figure of Camille is primarily visible through the right half of the large window, giving the impression of her movement past it, soon to be out of our view. Monet has captured a magical moment when Camille turns to look in from the cold without. The framing of her head by her brilliant kerchief is echoed in the parted curtains in the window which in turn echo the fall of her skirt. Because the window also functions as a door, the viewer has an additional sense of closeness to the figure, knowing that a single gesture could open the door inviting her in. Perhaps no other painting of a view through a window equals Monet's in its suggestion of intimacy.
excerpt from Impressionists in Winter

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