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Donald Olson, a professor of physics at Texas State University has devised a method of identifying locations and times for the settings of famous paintings using an unusual methodology. Weather facts, astronomical phenomenon, topography, tides, historical letters and diaries, well-known artworks, and assistance by experts in various fields all play a part in determining the facts behind a literary, artistic, or historical event.
Olson regularly takes some of his students on location to research a hypothesis. He and his students recently matched the exact date and location on the beach in 1883 in Étretat, Normandy, where Monet painted Étretat: Sunset and concluded the time to be 4:53 p.m.
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