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Clifftop Walk at Pourville, 1882 by Claude Monet (1840-1926, France)
The Cliff Walk at Pourville is an 1882 painting by the French Impressionist painter Claude Monet. It currently resides at the Art Institute of Chicago. This piece is a landscape portrait and is one of the rare paintings in which Monet includes human beings.
The Cliff Walk at Pourville is about the sublime of nature and the natural movement of air and sea. The composition and elements in this piece relates back to Monet’s influences, the artists he admired and learned from. His technique captured the essence of reality happening at a precise moment. The movement of the piece is emphasized through his brushstrokes and colors, giving life to light and air. Monet’s intense study of nature and practice of painting by open-air produced the most dramatic effect for his landscape portraiture. Monet’s introduction to Japanese print was a significant event in his career, but “perhaps the most important event in Monet’s life had been his meeting with Boudin [landscape painter Eugène Boudin] in the stationer’s shop at the age of fifteen.” Boudin introduced the artist to the beauty of nature and landscape painting.