If Monet was the leading figure of the Impressionist movement, Blooming Poppy Field was certainly one of its leading masterpieces.
This oil painting on canvas was painted in 1873, about the same time as Impression: Sunrise, the famous masterpieces that baptized the Impressionist movement a year later during their first Exhibition in Paris.
It was actually Louis Leroy, a notorious art critic, who came to the Exhibition and after seeing all Monet’s paintings (included Blooming Poppy Field) coined the term “Impressionism”, borrowed from Monet’s Impression and used in derogatory terms to describe the movement technique.
In Blooming Poppy Field, the true subjects that Monet tried to catch with his brushes were the natural light and movements of a poppy field. In particular, the field in this painting can be reconnected to a rural space in an area around Argenteuil, where Monet lived with his family between 1871 and 1878.
The people portrayed are actually Monet’s family: his wife Camille, covering her head with a parasol, and his son Jean are walking through a field of very thick and almost brown grass, while two more people (again apparently a woman and a child) are walking in the background on the right.
There is no connection, between the two couples of figures except for a long, bright stripe of blooming red poppies which are highlighting the scene with their warm and intense color, in clear contrast with the dry color of the grass.
The horizon is marked by a jagged line of dark green trees, scratching against the even light of a sky dotted by many white clouds.
This even light is reflected by the field grass and gives to the whole painting a quiet and yet translucent vibe.
The scene is pretty ordinary: a walk through a blooming poppy field in a quiet, isolated countryside. However, the human figures are dressed as middle-class people and the house we can see in the background doesn’t look like a rural cottage, but more like a villa. Those two elements may indicate that the poppy field is close to a town, and not in an isolated piece of countryside paradise as one may assume. This lack of importance about the human characters, without clearly defined faces and off-centered in the overall composition, forces the viewer’s eyes to focus on a whole new subject.
And in fact, in the Blooming Poppy Field painting made by Monet the main character is the color of natural light. As in many other impressionist paintings, what matters to the artist isn’t the subject of the painting itself, what is important is capturing the moment through a sketch-like technique that allows the artist to focus on the impressions coming from the environment around him, rather than focusing on a fixed, commissioned subject. This new approach to painting was revolutionary and quite contentious to critics like Leroy: what matters to Monet is to seize the impression of a scene, without any regard for the traditional canon of the aesthetics and proportions. What the eyes can catch in a flash of light is what we can see on the canvas.
The Blooming Poppy Field was actually one of the first known paintings that Monet made “en plein-air” (literally: made outdoors) and as we can see from the disproportionately large patches of color in the foreground, the visual impression here became his priority rather than the proportions and the defined lines so dear to the Academics. What to many critics looked like vulgar and sloppy stains of color, to Monet and his followers was actually the first step towards abstraction, a concept that in this painting was still in his embryonic state.
Poppies were very common within many paintings by Claude Monet, who was a highly skilled French impressionist of the 19th and 20th century. This section features all of his best known works that in some feature poppies which in the most common cases are brightly coloured French landscapes within Giverny where he lived for many years.
Claude Monet was first and foremost a landscape painter and as such all of the paintings found in this website offer small depictions of poppies grouped together within a French field rather than still life flowers paintings which were not something he completed as often as artists like Vincent van Gogh or Paul Cezanne who themselves liked to construct still life works with flowers within vases.
Monet's Poppies above is the best known of all related works to this topic and features a charming landscape which drops from left to right and includes Claude Monet's wife and child to add a personal feel to the painting as well as giving some idea of perspective. In the far distance is a small house although it is not known whether this was Monet's own house or not. Alongside the sprawling field of poppies is a bright blue sky above, with Monet also well known for taking care with every supporting sky scene within his landscapes, normally choosing bright complementary colours.
Poppies were always likely to be popular with Monet for several reasons. They were in great abundance within Giverny where he lived and worked for many years and would therefore naturally be involved in many of his landscape paintings. Poppies also offered an excellent opportunity to use bright reds that complemented the artist's impressionist style perfectly, sitting against his usual palette of purples, greens and blues.
Field of Poppies offers a landscape here literally flooded with the reds of poppies leaving no room for any other competing flowers in the field. This is another slightly lesser known painting from Monet's career but even these enjoy extraordinary valuations in the modern era with anything with a proven linked to the artist proving popular for art museums, galleries and private collectors all over the world. This particular work includes some stylish trees behind the field of poppies which breaks up the join between land and sky.
Those looking to buy art reproductions of Monet's paintings often go for lesser known works which best suit their taste and this simple but colourful landscape is one such example where the tranquility of the painting scene would easily suit many homes across the world with a fine selection of complementary colours which were also highly typical of this impressionist painter who was devoted to using reds, greens and blues in so many of his works.
Madame Monet and Child in Garden is unusual for the artist in that he centres in on full length portraits rather than covering a full length landscape which was his normal method. Of the different depictions of his wife this is probably the best known and sets his family against a beautiful backdrop of poppies, probably from within their own garden with Madame Monet looking so relaxed as she concentrates on her sewing whilst accompanying her child.
Camille Monet was portrayed in many Claude Monet paintings which offered a more personal approach that differed from his usual approach for covering landscapes with rarely any figures included. There were also several notable self-portraits too but in the main Claude was a landscape artist who found his inspiration as a painter within the surrounding landscapes of the French countryside.
Haystack with Poppies at Giverny is a lesser known painting from the career of Monet that features a landscape within the town of Giverny where he lived for much of his life. Monet would normally stay within the confines of his own garden when painting in this area but there is still others where he would find suitable locations in and around his hometown. This particular workunderlines his interest in Haystacks as an object for experimentation and he was later to produce a highly respected Haystacks-inspired series of paintings which were actually exhibited together.
Monet water lilies are covered in detail within Monetwaterlilies.org that features many different paintings by Monet on this exciting topic. Water lilies were an excellent choice for his Giverny garden pond as all of the paintings within this website will demonstrate.
Monet sunset paintings offered up the artist's finest selection of colours and Monetsunset.com features a gallery of all his best works that include a scene of sunrise or sunset. Links are also provided to where you can buy your own prints of the original paintings too.
Monet bridge paintings are listed throughout this website and this includes various angles of his famous Japanese Bridge which is found in the Giverny garden that he carefully planned himself. It is interesting to see in this gallery how he used the bridge under many different conditions for varying compositions.