Arts Everyday Living: Why Do We Love Monet–from Landscapes to Seascapes to Water Lilies

Back in May, the Art Circle group explored their thoughts and feelings about the works of art of iconic Vincent van Gogh.  How about French Impressionist master Claude Monet?  Of our mini-gallery below, are you drawn to a specific painting? Or perhaps more than one?  How about type of location? Particular season?  Or period of his career?  How does Monet’s use of color and light affect your eye?  And his brushstrokes?  His depiction of space?  And overall composition?  Plus how do his landscapes touch your feelings and emotions?

 

WHY DO WE LOVE MONET?

IS IT BECAUSE….

Claude Monet (1840-1926), Self Portrait with a Beret, 1886, oil on canvas, Private Collection

Monet’s landscapes filled with vivid color and lovely light are calming. The way he painted skies reminds me of contemporary nature—and helps minimize present chaos and illness.

Daena Kluegel

His intense eyes in Self Portrait with a Beret seem to emphasize that this is an artist and he is seeing the world in more vivid detail than others.

Kay Oshel

Monet’s Self Portrait is fabulous.  Just enough detail and wonderful use of color and light—always the light!

Virginia Fernbach

 

He takes us on a journey into a summer day, vibrant with  brilliant color and luminous light,

Claude Monet, Garden at Sainte-Adresse, 1867, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

A portrait of an enjoyable summer day with the family watching ships in the water from a lovely garden.  How I would love to be there.

Daena Kluegel

 

or the tranquility of a winter landscape, the beauty of freshly fallen snow touched by blue shadows.  Do you see the magpie?

Claude Monet, The Magpie,1868-1869, oil on canvas, Musee D’Orsay, Paris, France

There is such serenity in that scene of newly fallen snow and I am almost transported to the cold and silent beauty of  that morning as he painted it.

Daena Kluegel

The Magpie intrigued me with Monet’s wonderful treatment of winter light and the way the gate with horizontal bars interrupts the mass of the stone wall and draws you eye to the magpie.

Kay Oshel

One of my long time favorites is The Magpie, the entire composition is perfect.  I want to be there.

Virginia Fernbach

 

To his early home at Argenteuil along the Seine River, shimmering with reflections of multi-colored water. 

Claude Monet, The Bridge at Argenteuil, 1874, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Monet has helped me actually see how light affects everything I see in nature, and at different times of day, from different angles.

Marian Fielder

 

Next, inviting us to stand in a spacious meadow outside the town, full of delicate wildflowers and red poppies.

Claude Monet, Meadow with Poplars, c. 1875, oil on canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

So wonderfully soothing….and the slight touch of red in the lower right hand corner, a perfect touch.  It is knowing when to stop and determining what is needed if anything and how much of it.

Virginia Fernbach

This was a wonderful break.  Peace filled and calming.

Helen Rebull

 

Then guiding us to the pinnacle of a nearby hill, to meet his wife Camille, posed against an azure sky of wind-swept clouds.

Claude Monet, Woman with a Parasol—Madame Monet and Her Son, 1875, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Woman with a Parasol shows the wind and sky surrounding the figures who are almost joined to Nature.  I find looking at this art pulls me away from frantic thoughts produced by crisis.

Daena Kluegel

 

Next, to Normandy, when the sea is at high tide—the swirling movement of waves crashing onto the shore.

Claude Monet, Waves Breaking, 1881, oil on canvas, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California

I think Waves Breaking is my favorite. It’s the only one of the group that I don’t think I would have recognized as a Monet from across a room.  When I looked closer, I could see all his expressive brushstrokes in the waves.  It could easily be a detail of a larger canvas.

Kay Oshel

 

And taking us on a promenade upon the grassy cliffs, with a perfect view of the endless horizon. 

Claude Monet, The Cliff Walk, Pourville, 1882, oil on canvas, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois

 I love Monet because he makes nature come alive.  He speaks to our heart.

Joan Kaufman

 

How about the Riviera in springtime, where a blossoming tree rises gracefully on the edge of the deep Mediterranean Sea.

Claude Monet, Antibes Seen from La Sales, 1888, oil on canvas, Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio

Again the incredible light and what a tree—those colors were great.

Virginia Fernbach

 

 Or accompanying Monet to London, one of his favorite cities, when at sunset the Houses of Parliament, like a medieval apparition, tower above the Thames River.

Claude Monet, Houses of Parliament, 1903, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

This is so pleasant.  I can just gaze at these paintings and see details I miss when walking through a gallery.

John Imparato

I am drawn to Monet for the way he seems to be inviting me in personally to each work.  And I love the way he can do so to his outdoors and nature works, to indoors everyday objects, to even a city like London.

Pat Fisher

 

Venice, too, another magical destination, where we ride with Monet on a gondola past a Renaissance palace, a man-made dream adorned in jewel-like colors.

Claude Monet, Palazzo da Mula, 1908, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

 

Finally, to Giverny, where the water lilies became the center of Monet’s creative world during the last twenty-five years of his life.  A paradise of floral islands floating leisurely across the smooth surface of the pond, that seems to have no beginning or end.

Claude Monet, Water Lilies 1908, oil on canvas, Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts

Comparing his treatment of sky and water in different paintings made me realize how varied they are like his infinite variations in the waterlilies.

Kay Oshel

Of course I am a fan of  waterlilies, not all of them, but many are an inspiration—done when his eyesight was failing.

Virginia Fernbach

 

Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1916- 1919, oil on canvas, Musee Marmottan, Paris, France

You know how I feel about Monet…I feel that my visit to Giverny reinforced my positive feelings about his art.

Margie Gertzman

His art continues to renew and revitalize me.  I also especially enjoy the waterlilies and the paintings of the houses of Parliament and Venice for the soothing beauty of water reflections.  I am amazed that Monet could paint all these works over so many years and the art never seems to get stale or lose potency.

Daena Kluegel

I like the last water lily painting with its vertical hanging vines on both sides offsetting the horizontal lilies at the bottom with their pink picked up in places on the pond as your eye moves farther back and out of the painting.

Kay Oshel

 

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