HAYSTACKS, MIDDAY (MEULES AU SOLEIL, MILIEU DU JOUR) BY CLAUDE MONET.

1890, oil on canvas, 65.6 x 100.6 cm. Purchased 1979.
National Gallery of Australia

Inspired by the wheat stacks in a field adjoining his property at Giverny, France, Haystacks, midday is one of a series Claude Monet painted. With each indefinite stroke, everything quivers under the light and heat of the sun. The work itself has just been restored, to remove a dull varnish. Its colours now are just as they were first painted. “One must know how to seize the moment of the landscape at the exact instant,” Monet said, “for the moment will never return.”

See this work, and the rest of the national collection, in Canberra.