On Tuesday, March 12th I began a new copy, Woman with a Parasol – Madame Monet and Her Son by Claude Monet 1875. Landscape painting was a subject that Monet favored. His skill as a figure painter is equally evident. Monet delieneated the features of his sitters as freely as their surroundings. He painted in a very spontaneous manner, outdoors, and probably in a single session with the intention to convey the feeling of a casual family outing rather than a formal portrait. It is believed that he painted this masterpiece in about four hours. The brevity of the moment portrayed is conveyed by a repertory of animated brushstrokes of vibrant color with the clouds being the most difficult to replicate because of the freedom and spontaneity of the brushstrokes and his style. I often wonder what Monet was thinking as he painted Woman with a Parasol. In this case I think that Madame Monet is saying, “Claude, hurry it up, its windy up here.”
Woman with a Parasol is one of Monet’s most popular works and attracts a great deal of visitors to the National Gallery of Art. I enjoy the opportunity to be able to speak and discuss this masterpiece with the public.