CLAUDE OSCAR MONET – WATERLILIES 1916 – 1919

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Since part of this projects focus is on the piece of art given, I thought it’d be useful to do some research with regards to the artist Monet and this particular art piece of his.

‘Monet was exceptionally fond of painting controlled nature: his own gardens in Giverny, with its water lilies, pond, and bridge. He also painted up and down the banks of the Seine.

Between 1883 and 1908, Monet traveled to the Mediterranean, where he painted landmarks, landscapes, and seascapes, such as Bordighera. He painted an important series of paintings in Venice, Italy, and in London he painted two important series — views of Parliament and views of Charing Cross Bridge. His second wife Alice died in 1911 and his oldest son Jean, who had married Alice’s daughter Blanche, Monet’s particular favourite, died in 1914. After his wife died, Blanche looked after and cared for him. It was during this time that Monet began to develop the first signs of cataracts.

During World War I, in which his younger son Michel served and his friend and admirer Clemenceau led the French nation, Monet painted a series of Weeping Willow trees as homage to the French fallen soldiers. Cataracts formed on Monet’s eyes, for which he underwent two operations in 1923. The paintings done while the cataracts affected his vision have a general reddish tone, which is characteristic of the vision of cataract victims. It may also be that after surgery he was able to see certain ultraviolet wavelengths of light that are normally excluded by the lens of the eye, this may have had an effect on the colors he perceived. After his operations he even repainted some of these paintings, with bluer water lilies than before the operation.’  

 

The water-lily pond at Monet’s home in Giverny, north-west of Paris, became the principal motif of Monet’s later paintings. Filling the canvas, the surface of the pond becomes a world in itself, inspiring a sense of immersion in nature. Monet’s observations of the changing patterns of light on the surface of the water become almost abstract. The paintings were not fully appreciated in Monet’s lifetime, and when they were reassessed in 1950s, some critics viewed them as precursors of Abstract Expressionism.

In his effort to capture just the right amount of light and dark, Monet always worked on several canvases at once and furiously followed the changing daylight. He painted intently, disregarding all the topical trends, and declared to his astonished contemporaries. 

… Floating lily pads and mirrored reflections assume equal stature, blurring distinctions between solid objects and transitory effects of light. Monet had always been interested in reflections, seeing their fragmented forms as a natural equivalent for his own broken brushwork.’

This information was found and taken from:

https://www.claude-monet.com/waterlilies.jsp

It was definitely important that I researched into Monet himself in order to gain an understanding of him as an individual and as an artist. I found the subject of his later eye problems particularly interesting and that the fact he responded to this by painting numerous versions of the same view/scene. His fondness of painting nature was also useful to know as I can consider incorporating further inspiration from nature into my designs. One of the most interesting things I found out was Monet’s focus on incorporating the right amount of light into his paintings – light being the focus of my current project, this is a really useful piece of information and knowledge to take forward along with the fact that Monet was particularly interested in reflections that light gave – I will consider reflections and different ways of creating them within my designs. Colour was also a strong focus for Monet – something else I will consider, I will tr and eliminate just using black and white as a palette for my designs.

 

 

 

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