The Joy of Museums

Finding Meaning in a Museum

A Cart on the Snowy Road at Honfleur

Musée d’Orsay - Joy of Museums 1

“A Cart on the Snowy Road at Honfleur” by Claude Monet depicts a cart on the snowy road at Honfleur. It is an example of how Monet was influenced Japanese prints and how he integrated what he had learnt from study into Japanese art into this scene.

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“Kameyama: Clear Weather after Snow” by Utagawa Hiroshige

Claude Monet study of Japanese artists such as Utagawa Hiroshige and Utagawa Hiroshige helped him realise that painting could most effectively evoke atmosphere if it relied on the viewer’s ability to interpret abbreviated signs from their relationships to the whole picture.

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Utagawa Hiroshige Print from the MET

Monet’s painting shows numerous instances of how Monet used abstraction, similar to that found in Japanese art as an alternative naturalistic detail.

Painting landscapes under snow gave Monet the opportunity to study light effects and to use different nuances of colour. He experimented with using a limited number of shades, preferring browns and blues used in many different shades so that the ground is not uniformly white but with luminosity that seem to change when seen from different angles.

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Essential Facts:

  • Title:               A Cart on the Snowy Road at Honfleur
  • Artist:             Claude Monet
  • Year:               1865
  • Medium:        Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:  65 x 93 cm
  • Museum:       Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Artist Essential Facts:

  • Name:             Oscar-Claude Monet
  • Born :             1840 – Paris, France
  • Died:               1926 (aged 86) – Giverny, France
  • Nationality:    French
  • Notable works:
    • Rouen Cathedral series
    • London Parliament series
    • Water Lilies
    • Haystacks
    • Poplars
  • Movement:       Impressionism

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“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.” Claude Monet

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Photo Credit: 1) By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons 2) Hiroshige II [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons 3) Hiroshige [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons