OIL PAINTING: Poplars , 1891
Monet was never interested in aesthetic battles, or in theories of painting. It was just Monet and nature. The characteristic visual qualities of Impressionism were never carried out systematically, but rather with joyous spontaneity. The juxtapositions of color patches, looking haphazard close up, merged when the viewer stepped back a few feet from the canvas. There was a great new freedom in their oil paintings, but it was also carefully composed, though often on the spot. In their paintings, the identity of individual objects and forms merged to form the collective whole of the composition. They didn't use linear perspective or other spatial cues to indicate distance. Their images were not of solid forms - they were interested in an atmospheric rather than a volumetric quality. When Monet painted his series of Poplars, his interest was in creating an atmosphere - the poplars were just the vehicle he used to do this. He was not only interested in light on objects, he was interested in the light between objects - the atmosphere.