Here is Linda’s blog assignment which contains an excellent synopsis of the works of Millet, Monet, and Renior.
Jean-François Millet, extended the idea from landscape to figures — peasant figures, scenes of peasant life, and work in the fields. In The Angelus (1859), Millet portrays a couple in prayer after working at the harvest. There is no drama and no story told, merely the couple in a field. Millet here shifted the focus, the subject matter, from the rich and prominent to those at the bottom of the social ladders. Millet also didn’t paint their faces to emphasize their anonymity and marginalized position. Their bowed bodies are representative of their every day hard work.
Monet reduced detail in his painting, including only the essence of the seen, or the impression of the reflection, water, and lily flower. The French poet Paul Claudel said: “Thanks to water, [Monet] has become the painter of what we cannot see. He addresses that invisible spiritual surface that separates light from reflection. Airy azure captive of liquid azure … Color rises from the bottom of the water in clouds, in whirlpools.” (Quotes source: p262 Art of Our Century, by Jean-Louis Ferrier and Yann Le Pichon)
Renoir delighted in `the people’s Paris’, of which the Moulin de la Galette near the top of Montmartre was a characteristic place of entertainment, and his picture of the Sunday afternoon is one of his happiest compositions. The girl in the striped dress in the middle foreground was said to be Estelle, the sister of Renoir’s model, Jeanne. Another of Renoir’s models, Margot, is seen to the left dancing. At the foreground table at the right are the artist’s friends, Frank Lamy, Norbert Goeneutte and Georges Rivière who in the short-lived publication L’Impressionniste extolled the Moulin de la Galette as
a page of history, a precious monument of Parisian life depicted with rigorous exactness. Nobody before him had thought of capturing some aspect of daily life in a canvas of such large dimensions.