A Description of Claude Monetís View of Bennecourt

Claude Monet, View of Bennecourt, 1887, Oil on Canvas.
This essay will attempt to provide a written description of Claude Monetís 1887 painting
View of Bennecourt. In the following, attention will be paid to the pivotal images contained
within the canvas, with a focus on those objects which dominate the foreground of the image,
namely, the trees and shadows which lead the viewer to the remainder of the composition. Due to
the complexity of the work, some aspects, such as a detailed description of color variations, may
be missing. Yet, a time will be spent on a synopsis of the work leading into these descriptions,
and a short description of other objects will be entered as found necessary by relation to the
foreground. The conclusion will offer examples of work completed by a following generation
which may have been influenced by this, or a related work as directed by Claude Monet.
The sum of the painting is as follows. A landscape painted in the waning hours of the
evening as indicated by the direction of shadow. The frame is cropped on all sides negating any
chance of foreground trees to be viewed upon in their entirety. A silhouette of a small town
glows through the natural landscape. The town is both separated from the landscape by the
growth as well as a creek or river bed which hides in the brush. The natural surroundings appear
to be very secluded, even in regard to a town that seems so close in relation to the natural area.
The trees of the landscape stretch horizontally from the lowest to the highest points
allowed by the frame and beyond. Some of which show little evidence of thinning to a peak
before disappearing into the top of the canvas. Their trunks, almost anemic in some portrayals are
stretched along the canvas and twist awkwardly as they rise above the undergrowth. One tree to
the farthest right dominates the foreground with no suggestion of the plants birth point or a limit
to its towering height. All that is evidenced is the trunk far overpowers the space allocated to its
portrayal. The trees of the central foreground also posses a major perspective trait with the dark
hues attributed to their casing. Surrounding the purple and brown core is a gray shell witch traps
the colors into their horizontal state.
In the central foreground stand a group of three trees which carry the same color scheme
as the endless tree to the right. Unlike their stronger counterpart, this group posses a grounding
or birth point in the lower foreground of the landscape. This group resembles one another in their
color scheme and design. The two to the right curve in unison as they disappear into the upper
canvas. The third tree in the group bends to the right as the other two, but with a much sharper
angle. The top of the tree extends through the canvas, suffering the same fate as its counterparts
in the group. The group maintains a trait not shared with the endless tree. They begin to branch
as they extend towards the upper canvas. The endless tree rises into the canvas with little to no
evidence of growth beyond the confines of the trunk. The trees of the group also begin to show a
slight thinning at their loftiest points in the canvas, an ultimate indication to their eventual demise.
The trunk of the endless tree retains an equaled body throughout the canvas, further adding to the
question of the actual height. The group and the endless tree both tend towards upward
movement, vanishing into the upper canvas at almost a ninety degree angle from the lower
horizontal line of the frame.
A separate set of two trees in the left foreground contrast the central group in several
aspects. The core of the trees in the set is painted with lighter pink and yellow pastels rather than
the darker hues of the central group. The core colors are encased only by a single gray line set
only to the right sides of the core pastels. The right sides of the trees in the set are left open with
the inner colors of the trunks simply ending into the greens of the undergrowth and the blues of
the faint sky. This set, like the centralized group, have their origin exposed to the audience, set
slightly behind the central group in perspective and even farther away