Claude Monet (1840 - 1926), 1871
oil on canvas, 48.3 cm x 74.2 cm
Could these windmills have been painted from a boat out on the water? It’s as though you are looking over Monet’s shoulder. The orange sails of the windmills stand out against the sombre Dutch sky like celebratory banners.
The French Impressionist spent four months in Zaandam in 1871 and wrote to a friend that it was ‘all very amusing’. Van Gogh did not see Monet’s work until around fifteen years later, after he had moved to Paris. He was extremely impressed.