Artworks
Haystacks at the End of Summer, Morning Effect
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jtucker's picture

Contributor

Claude Monet was my kind of man.

He loved nature and most of his inspiration came directly from the great outdoors. He also had an exceptional ability to find the beauty in pretty much anything. In fact, almost all the paintings he made in the last 40 years of his life were based off of the scenery within just two miles of his house. (Which makes me think that actually maybe he was just lazy...)

One day, Monet was romping around when he stumbled into his neighbor’s farm and discovered the now legendary haystacks. What started as a desire to create two paintings of the scene (one during sunny weather and one during cloudy times) soon spun out of control and resulted in the twenty-five piece series that we know today. He was a man obsessed. 

Monet was completely captivated by light. He made it his goal to capture these haystacks in every atmospheric setting. While this may sound painfully boring to the average person, perfecting the representation of light is what got this man jazzed. Because of this obsession, he would work on up to ten paintings at a time depending on the weather. He would switch between canvases so fast that he had to hire his kids to run back and forth from his house with his paintings so that he could perfect the ever-changing light.

This series was Monet’s real breakthrough in the art world. After Monet’s Haystacks became popular, several artists including Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas jumped on the hay wagon so to speak and did their own versions of haystacks. However, Monet was the master of them all. Fifteen of the paintings were exhibited shortly after completion and all were sold within days of the opening. In fact, ten of them were sold before the show even opened! So long struggling artist, Monet was about to take the art world by storm.