This picture refers to the early period of the artist. Being written in 1872, it coincided in time with another, more famous painting by Claude Monet's “Impression”, which marked a new trend in Western European painting - impressionism.
Monet sought not only to photographically transfer nature to the canvas. It was important for the artist to convey the impression of the surrounding objects, which every minute could change their appearance under the influence of sunlight or just an unexpected proximity to other objects. Monet rejected the principles of academic painting, for which it was extremely important to observe the transition from light to shadow.
The artist decided to trust his eye and thereby rediscover nature. That is why on the canvases of the impressionist, all objects are, as it were, slightly smeared with a blow of air. Monet's image loses its smoothness, although at the same time it acquires the ability to capture even the smallest movements in nature. Because of this, it seems that life itself is spilled on the artist’s canvases, and the viewer has the role of observer for its endless stream.
All of the above features of Monet's impressionistic canvases can be freely applied not only to such well-known Monet's works as “Breakfast on the Grass” and “Impression”, but also to the canvas “Hay in Rouen”.
The painting depicts a river that amazes the viewer with its vitality. It seems that both the incorrect reflection in the water of ships, and the green fabric of leaves, barely swaying by the winds, are happening here and now, and not a hundred-plus years ago. Just a little more - and we will smell the grass, hear the sound of leaves. This feeling is far from accidental, it is explained by the impressionistic technique, which Monet used for his early works.
Fedor Rokotov Painting