Claude Monet -Le Pont du chemin de fer, Argenteuil

By: Ranjith Daluwatta

Mar 18 2016

Category: Uncategorized

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Bridge railway in Argenteuil , which discreetly pass a train, joined the two green banks of the Seine; its smoke plume is hardly distinguishable on the cloudy sky; the river lapping against the huge pillars of the structure. The train, quick and fleeing like the keys of the brush, does not seem to disturb the suburban landscape. Similarly, the wagon train in the countryside which spins off mingle with the dark green forest trees. Indifferent to his silent passage, little people are walking on the soft green grass as the sun floods. We feel the same sense of rest before the canvas of Renoir. The bridge of the railway at Chatou , half hidden by the chestnut trees, is in harmony with the square of flowers in nature. The three tables are not built the same way: the view from the bridge of Argenteuil is structured by a large diagonal bar the river, while the 1871 Monet and Renoir are built on a horizontal line of force, the way railway. But they denote the same fascination with bridges, viaducts and bridges (it is found in curd). Note especially appeasement they express: that serenity, which the train itself participates contrast to brute force and brilliance of the locomotive in Steam and Speed ‚Äč‚ÄčTurner.

The accusation is sometimes made against the Impressionists that in their concern with atmosphere they lost sight of qualities of form and composition. Analysis of this painting would show, in spite of its apparent lack of pre-intended arrangement, how coherent it is in design. The verticals of the masts, of the houses and bridge piers and their reflections are set down firmly with an obvious sense of their pictorial value. There are those echoes of form and colour in which harmony of composition is to be found. The line of the furled sail is caught by the ribbed sky at the left; the warm tones of buildings are echoed in the details of the yachts; the dapple of clouds in the blue sky (with its deeper richness of blue in reflection) has its tonal equivalent in the reflections of the boats. To relax and look at the picture without analytic effort, however, is to see it resolve into an idyllic vision in which modern life has introduced no jarring note.