Poppy Field in a Hollow near Giverny, 1885

Poppy Field in a Hollow near Giverny was painted by Claude Monet in 1885. The region around Giverny had rolling hills to the north and cultivated fields of poppies and wheat to the south. Monet roamed these fields during the first years he lived in the village.

Although Monet began to plant in his garden shortly after he moved in, he had no interest in painting it at such an early stage in its development. He turned instead to the nearby poppy fields, which offered a lush display of natural color to paint.

Monet and his fellow Impressionists believed that art should express its own time and place and that it should do so in an appropriately modern style. In the 1860s and 1870s, working primarily outdoors, the Impressionists observed that objects seen in strong light lose definition and appear to blend into one another. No clear outlines exist in this sunny landscape. Its forms and textures are suggested by the size, shape, and direction of the brushstrokes, and the juxtaposition of complementary reds and greens gives the painting a vibrant intensity. By the mid-1880s, most members of the original group had turned away from Impressionism, but Monet declared:

“I am still an Impressionist and will always remain one. ”

The painting is currently housed at the Museum of Fine Art Boston