Friday, June 11, 2010

Claude Monet: His Deteriorating Eyesight As Seen Through His Japanese Bridge Paintings

Because Monet always insisted he painted what he saw, it suggests his increasingly blurred effect of his brush strokes in later years was not so much that the Master's style was changing but rather that it was the result of his eyesight deteriorating. Those effects are most telling when looking at his many series paintings as they get closer to 1923 when he had his  cataract surgery. Monet was a prolific letter write and he often wrote friends complaining of his failing eyesight and his inability to no longer tell his colors apart. At first his sight was too yellow producing muddier shades of browns, reds and yellows. After surgery his sight he said was too blue. Following are a number of his Japanese bridge paintings, of which he did many, that illustrate the effect of his failing eyesight on his famous works.

Monet destroyed much of the work he created while suffering with the cataracts. The few pieces that remain from that period were rescued by family and friends. After the surgery in the last few years of his life he returned to painting and completed his water lily series.

1 comment:

  1. That is so interesting, Maureen! I don't think I ever caught that in what I've read before and it makes perfect sense.


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