Mother's Day Edition - 3 Cool Things (You Might Not Know) About Monet's Water Lilies

Give the Moms in your life some flowers for Mother's Day...

monet water lilies

(Image source / As seen in museumCorresponding newsletter)

What would you do with the last 25 years of your life? Monet spent those years painting numerous landscapes. These blurry yet vibrant water lilies contributed to revolutionizing the depiction of space.

1. Slightly out of focus: Like other Impressionist paintings, Monet's water lilies have a somewhat unfinished look, brush strokes that seem "in the moment." Impressionists painted what they saw (effects of light and color) instead of what they knew to be there (compare to Da Vinci's Mona Lisa). Monet's cataracts and retinal disease blurred his vision - Stanford Med researchers modeled the effects of this on his paintings. See on the left the how cataract vision has a blurriness similar to that in the paintings.

2. Broadening your horizons: The image on the left has a distinct horizon line, an eye-level line that separates the sky from the land. Monet's painting above doesn't have a horizon. The painting actually skips to the surface of the pond, which reflects the sky and is the setting for the water lilies. Although this doesn't happen in all of Monet's paintings, this seemingly subtle change was pretty revolutionary in changing the way artists depicted space. Old people can indeed be innovative.

Thomas Crown Affair3. Irresistable: One of the paintings stolen in "The Thomas Crown Affair" was a Monet. The title of the movie "Vanilla Sky" comes from the clouds of one of Monet's paintings.

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