Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Influence of Water

I would love to have been a mouse in the dining room to hear the conversations at the table from Monet's best friends and fellow artists, Gustave Caillebotte, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Auguste Renoir,  Johann-Barthold Jongkind, and Eugene Boudin.

Another treasure I've enjoyed this summer is Monet's House: An Impressionist Interior by Heide Michels. Maybe you have seen the fabulous kitchen and dining room of the Monet's house in Giverny, France. The yellows, blues and greens chosen by the artist for wall colors in his home were so avant garde for his times when heavy Victorian colors prevailed in most decoration. His arrangement of flowers in his garden were also unconventional. Hooray for Monet's pioneering spirit and fabulous eye for color.

Michels points out in her text that Claude Oscar Monet lived in his Giverny residence forty-three years, exactly half of his life. Also, the flower and water gardens he designed inspired much of his greatest work.

She also points out that throughout his life Monet was attracted to water. "He never tired of following the River Seine as it flowed northwest from Paris to its estuary at Le Havre, the town where he spent his childhood. He painted its ever-changing moods and the ever-changing skies above as it flowed chaotically along its course through Argentreuil, Vetheuil, Poissy, Vernon, and Rouen toward the coast. These were all places where he lived at various times during his career."

Vethuil in Summer, 1883

Beach at Etretet, 1883

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