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Claude Monet, Lavacourt under Snow

Key facts
Full title Lavacourt under Snow
Artist Claude Monet
Artist dates 1840 - 1926
Date made about 1878-81
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 59.7 × 80.6 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Sir Hugh Lane Bequest, 1917, The National Gallery, London. In partnership with Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.
Inventory number NG3262
Location On loan: Long Loan to The Hugh Lane (2019 - 2026) (Group B), Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin, Ireland
Collection Main Collection
Lavacourt under Snow
Claude Monet

Snow scenes were a particular favourite among the Impressionists, and Monet painted several canvases that explore the way sunlight plays upon the snow, reflecting tones of red, pink, purple and blue at different times of day. He produced this scene of Lavacourt, a tiny hamlet on a bend in the Seine, when he was living in Vétheuil on the opposite side of the river.

The picture is dated 1881, but it may have been painted earlier, during the winter of 1879/80, which was unusually cold. The Seine froze over and Monet was captivated by the way the landscape was transformed by snow and ice, braving the freezing temperatures to set up his easel out of doors. The great bank of snow in the foreground is conveyed with broad sweeps of the brush, the whites overlain with blues. The cold tones suggest that this side of the river is in shadow, unlike the opposite side, where the pink tones suggests the warmth of pale sunlight.

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