Immediately after the Franco-Prussian War, during which Claude Monet had sought exile in London, the artist travelled to the Netherlands. He and his family sojourned in a small town near Amsterdam called Zaandam, which was popular with tourists. “One would be busy for an entire painter’s life,” he wrote to his friend Camille Pissarro. While Paris lay in ruins, Monet depicted happy scenery. The soft light of a summer’s day is shimmering on the picturesque houses, which are reflected in the water on the bank of the Zaan River. The artist captures the carefree atmosphere of this idyllic location with Impressionist brushstrokes.
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