Grainstacks at Giverny; the Evening Sun (1888/1889) by Claude MONETThe Museum of Modern Art, Saitama
A leading artist of the Impressionist school, during the 1870s, Claude Monet painted works that captured open-air light on canvas with brisk touches of paint.
In 1883, he moved to Giverny, where he lived for the rest of his life, and pursued ways to express the subtle nuance of light infiltrating through the atmosphere or reflecting on the water’s surface in his paintings.
The paint that makes up Grainstacks is applied in multiple layers and extends to all corners of the painting.
Compared to his artistic style up to the 1870s, the brushwork in this painting is softer and more delicate.
Monet created this, and two other paintings from the same viewpoint, from 1888-1889.
Two years later, Monet painted a series of 25 Grainstacks, also known as Haystacks.
Though the subject is a mundane stack of grain, Monet brilliantly captures the incessantly changing world of flowing air and infiltrating light.
Enwrapped in dense air and light, everything seems to be leisurely in motion.
Via a number of serial works that began with Grainstacks, Monet reached the monumental Water Lilies series.
The grainstacks were heaps of unthreshed wheat, which were also used to store food. They can be seen as a symbol of the fertile land in the agricultural countryside of France.