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Lady with a Parasol
Claude Monet was the founder of the French Impressionist movement which sought to express one's perception of nature through essence and the effect of light on forms. Plein air painting was the chosen subject matter of the movement, but when figures such as this one arose they were depicted in the same style which left details open and gestural. Accordingly unrecognizable, the woman pictured here is Suzanne Hoschedé, daughter of Claude Monet's second wife, Alice Hoschedé. The painting was rendered from a low viewpoint, making Ms. Hoschedé's figure appear grand at the top of the grassy area. As the wind dances with the fabric of her dress and scarf, the sky seems to spin on its own axis, suggesting the wind's overall effect on the whole scene that day from the figure to the movement of the clouds and the grass. The viewer understands the impression of the atmosphere and can almost feel the warmth and light bustle around them with the wind. Like many of Monet's paintings, there are several versions of this painting although those which are most common are the Woman with a Parasol with her son or Woman with a Parasol facing right.