Shadow on the Sea at Pourville
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There is a diagonal sense of balance in this piece, with the work loosely split into a darker diagonal half containing the watery shadows and cliff face, and the upper diagonal containing lighter waters and an open sky. This work is characteristic of Monet’s Impressionist style. The paint has been applied in loose strokes which are detectable as individual marks rather than a blended whole. The tones Monet has created are the result of different colours being placed in proximity to each other, building up to a general hue. Both of these stylistic choices were key to the Impressionists in their mission to portray outdoor light as it actually seen in real vision: a dance of many colours. The shadows upon the sea are dark blue with heavy green waves layered upon them, demonstrating the movement of the water. This darker section is contrasted by a lighter area of water to the left which has yellow highlights. Although this is not what “real” water looks like, by combining the yellow and blue, Monet has given the impression of warm light hitting the sea, the pink and orange highlights on the cliff and in the sunset. Monet painted Pourville in the north of France at least three times during an elongated stay there in 1882.