Art Reviews

Claude Monet: “Portrait of Père Paul”: An Esbat of Surface Effect and Colour

        When it comes to color, Monet was never influenced by prejudice or spontaneity. He always knew, after careful exploration and experimentation, exactly what he was after. Free spiriting, audacious color levels, and bold imagery predominantly figured in Monet’s later works. The behind-scenes-theme captured in this painting is Monet’s cosmopolitan of light and mood. Here, the painting presents to us a confident and prosperous subject. His acute and sensitive rowing towards structure and creation is intensified by the subjects jovial and tranquil acceptance to his unseen surroundings.

        The name of the subject in the painting is Paul Antoine Graff, a chef and owner of the hotel where Monet stayed in Pourville on the English Channel. This exquisite work is a confectionery blend of embroidered reality and conjecture; the serious glare from the chefs eyes seem to be pointed at no none; however, something has been trapped in his gaze unseen to us. His melting beard and robust skin add harmony and energy to the mood of his servitude. Emptiness and serenity are glazed by the ignorant mosaic-like ritual of Monet’s opulent brush-strokes. Monet’s emphasis of light color and splashing shadows fill the painting with cheeriness and tolerance, despite the sloppy attire of the chef’s appearance. His glowing black beard ruminates across the soft atmosphere of confidence and cleanliness that looms behind his dignified posture. What quaint secret creates the purposive simper on his face? His bushy eyes and unleveled nose add a cynical caption of allusive elegance to his nutty colored complexion. While Monet is skillfully attempting to conceal something not visible to us, our focus is brought into full bloom by the trident gesture of his clumsy hat and his radiant transfiguration of his woolly hair and picturesque ogle of mystical expectation; the evanesce of his bottom half is not without a result. Monet purposefully absolves his torso for the effect and illumination that the subject requires. No extra attention to the human form is correct except what is staring at the viewer. The abstractness of the background and the fortitude of color and arrangement in the foreground is the artist’s explanation of portrait in poetical form and symphonic regulation of  circulatory color and charm. The painting is capable of breathing expression and mannerisms all by itself. Monet has captured, like many paintings before, a simple but charismatic structure of a human moment. It has been preserved by color, arrangement, precious shadow, and dizzy shades of realism and theory. It is a complete and fully methodized portrait of variegated exquisiteness and plethora of grizzled brilliance.

(You can view the painting here where it is housed:




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