Claude Monet - Antibes Seen from the Salis Gardens 1888

Antibes Seen from the Salis Gardens 1888
Antibes Seen from the Salis Gardens
1888 92x73cm oil/canvas
Toledo Museum of Art

« previous picture | 1880s Monet's paintings | next picture »

From Toledo Museum of Art:
TMA Masterworks, p. 272:
The shimmering light of mid-afternoon infuses Claude Monet's painting of the old fortified coastal town of Antibes—"all gilded by the sun, freeing itself from the beautiful blue and pink mountains and the chain of the Alps eternally covered in snow," as he described it in a letter to his companion Alice Hoschedé. Monet came to Antibes, located on the Mediterranean coast in the south of France, in January of 1888. He settled into a hotel frequented by other artists—guests who apparently annoyed him to no end—where he stayed until the following May, returning to Paris with some forty paintings. He was dazzled by the light and the striking scenery of the legendary Côte d'Azur, but sometimes struggled with how to represent it on canvas. He wrote to his friend the sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) in February; "I'm fencing and wrestling with the sun. And what a sun it is! In order to paint here one would need gold and precious stones."
For Toledo's painting, Monet chose the vantage point of the Garden of La Salis across the cape from Antibes (he painted three other views of the town from this same garden, captured at different times of day). He positioned himself at the bottom of the garden, close to the water, a large, twisting olive tree dominating the composition. Antibes sparkles in the distance, with the tower of the medieval Château Grimaldi prominent in the center. His efforts to express the light- and color-permeated atmosphere of the Mediterranean fulfilled his promise to Alice Hoschedé that what he would paint in Antibes would be "sweetness itself, white, pink, blue, all of it enveloped in this fairy-tale like air."