The paintings by Claude Monet have always fascinated me. Growing up I would see framed replicas of his work in places such as my home and offices. I think the element that sparks my fascination is the way he paints. Monet’s paintings are not identical realistic paintings of scenery but thicker stroked pieces with thin strokes for detail. I’m not entirely sure how to put my thoughts into exact words, but what was just described was how I feel towards the technique that Monet paints with. I have also decided to focus on pictures of nature in this gallery as there is some sort of connection I feel with natural scenic pictures by Monet. Therefore, this collection is of various nature paintings of the legendary Claude Monet. The first painting and one of Monet’s most famous is called “Water Lilies” and is currently in the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, Japan. This image can be slightly misleading as it is a close snapshot of a pond-like body of water and doesn’t show any edge of the pond. As this is not a realistic painting, individuals may not fully be aware of what the painting is of until they read the title or description. Monet cleverly made this painting as realistic as possible in his personal technique as you can tell by first glance this is a body of water and that there are some lily pads with a couple lilies. I also noticed that there is green that accompanies the water. The green can symbolize seaweed, moss or even a reflection of a tree above.
The second painting is called “Wind Effect” and resides in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France. With the way the leaves of the trees were painted, one can identify that there is a wind and also in which direction it is blowing in. Each leaf was strategically painted so that they all were facing the same direction emphasizing the direction of the wind. One of the details I noticed was the way Monet painted the sky. It seems like there is perhaps a storm on its way as the sky is grey-ish blue in colour like storm clouds. The third painting is called “The Cliff of Aval” and is located at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Israel. This is one of my favourites of the collection I made as it really shows a panoramic view of the scenery, and engages both a cliff and water. Through the darker colours which show a shadow from the cliff, you can tell that the sun is coming from the left side of the picture. I love the part of the cliff that is closest to the viewer, as it shows the cliff is not a perfect flat and well sculpted piece of land, but a land of ruggedness and faults. In addition, I love how there is white incorporated in the water signifying waves and not calm waters - realism.
The fourth painting is called “Seine at Giverny, Morning Mists” and is currently at the North Carolina Museum of Art. This is a very hazy painting that shows how misty it was at this body of water. It is so misty that some may not even be able to tell what this is a painting of! However, with close analysis, you can see that the green is of a large swamp like tree that is close to the painter, whereas the shadows in the background show the trees that are in the distance.
The last painting is called “Winter Sun at Lavacort” and is in the Musée d’art Moderne. The colours in this picture are very alike, showing the winter snow and grey winter sky. You can tell that the leaves on the plants have all died off and that the sun is coming up in the far distance. We are unable to tell if the figures below the sun are of mountains or of houses of a village.
The technique that Monet uses in his paintings, show a sense of realism as they attempt to replicate various natural sceneries without them being an exact replica. With that being said, it allows the viewer to use his or her imagination along with the actual picture to put two and two together to generate what the painting is truly of. As mentioned, paintings by Monet are highly enjoyed and are therefore replicated in many forms to satisfy the demand. We learned in modules that there are many images that are reproduced to recreate meaning or just for means of reproduction. Those two aims are used for many artworks by many famous artists, including Claude Monet. I can say this as I myself have witnessed many replications of Monet’s work and have never actually seen an original piece of work by him.