Light, color and vision
Color interactions: Simultaneous contrast
Peripheral vision
Luminance and equiluminance
Related pages: Monet's sunrise  ·  Monet's poppies    « »
    Claude Monet's Poppies, Near Argenteuil

In the countryside, a vivid splash of poppies seems to move in a gentle breeze. Monet has made the red poppies and the green field effectively equiluminant. The position of the poppies seems uncertain. They appear to quiver.

“Poppies, Near Argenteuil,” Claude Monet, 1873

If you remove the color, most of the poppies cannot be seen in the field. Poppies and field are equiluminant. As has been said, the Impressionists painted not a landscape but the impression of a landscape. Nothing here is painted exactly: everything is suggested. Monet evokes unforgettably a mood by choosing these shades of green and red. If he painted other color flowers, the hillside would be stagnant.

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