Japanese Footbridge

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The Japanese Footbridge

Japanese Footbridge is an oil painting by Claude Monet. It was painted in 1899. It measures 81.3 x 101.6 cm (32 x 40 in.) It hangs in the National Gallery of Art. In 1893 Monet moved to a house in rural Giverny. In 1893 and the years following, he turned a swampy area at Giverny into a water lily pool. It became a source of artistic inspiration. In 1899 Monet painted 12 works that centered on the garden and the Japanese Footbridge he constructed. The National Gallery of Art writes: "When Monet exhibited these paintings at Durand–Ruel's gallery in 1900, a number of critics mentioned his debt to Japanese art. More telling, the impenetrable green enclosure—heightened in the National Gallery painting by the placement of the top of the bridge's arch just below the painting's top edge—harkens back to the hortus conclusus (closed garden) of medieval images, while also evoking a dreamlike contemplative zone consonant with symbolist literature, especially poems such as "Le Nénuphar blanc" by Stéphane Mallarmé. Gustave Geffroy described this effect in his review of the exhibition (Le Journal, November 26, 1900), speaking of "this minuscule pool where some mysterious corollas blossom," and "a calm pool, immobile, rigid, and deep like a mirror, upon which white water lilies blossom forth, a pool surrounded by soft and hanging greenery which reflects itself in it."

References[change | change source]

  • The Japanese Footbridge, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, retrieved January 23, 2013