Claude Monet, 1891

As I get older, I realize that I have to work very hard if I want to reproduce what I’m searching for We live in the instant. “The influence of the atmosphere on the things and the light all around”

This is the high point of Impressionism. The view of Rouen Cathedral painted between 1892 and 1894 is described as such in Claude Monet’s series of works. A series of 31 paintings showing Rouen’s Gothic cathedral covered in different kinds of light and weather – the series provoked immediate applause among the critics of the time, and was praised by many artists later on, including Wassily Kandinsky and

For Monet, the idea of depicting the same subject at different moments in order to study its changes caused by natural light was not new he had already painted a group of haystacks lying on the outskirts of Giverny between 1890 and 1891. Summer sunlight painted these haystacks at sunrise and sunset, so they would match the summer skies The end of the summer, in the middle of the winter, or on the eve of spring are recommended times. These paintings grew out of Monet’s fascination with the dynamics of nature rather than out of any academic or scientific theory (Monet himself said, “I’ve always been disgusted by those awful theories”). Despite being a critical and commercial success, the series was also very well received by critics. A Russian haystack was the subject of an exhibition by Wassily Kandinsky in Moscow in 1895. Kandinsky was so impressed with the image that he suggested they were the first abstract paintings in history “So suddenly I saw the image for the first time.”. In the catalogue it was described as a haystack, but I definitely could not identify it (…) I realized that I had missed out the object of the picture (…) What I had perfectly present was the unrecognized -and until then hidden- power of the palette.

By Peter