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The River, 1881 by Claude Monet (1840-1926, France)
The elegant poplar trees on the banks of the River Epte, seen against a patchy blue summer sky, fuse with their reflected image in a network of brightly coloured brushstrokes. This is a work from Monet's celebrated series of poplar paintings made between the spring and autumn of 1891, the year after he had settled in Giverny. He used a boat as a floating studio and captured beautifully the shimmering effects of sunlight on water. The trees were ready to be sold for timber, but Monet, in partnership with a timber merchant, bought the trees at auction so that he could continue painting them.