Monet's Water Lilies

on Thursday, June 25, 2009



Living in Atlanta gives you all the advantages of a large metropolitan city and we try to enjoy what it offers.  Last week, I picked up my Nutcracker from ballet and we went 2 blocks south to the High Museum of Art.  What was showing there....Claude Monet's water lilies.
So facinating.

This is probably not what you think of when you think of his water lilies but I think it's interesting that he painted this, his favorite footbridge, after his cataract surgery and he could see things a little more clearly.  He died 3 years later in 1926.  Hard to believe that my mom was 3 years old then!

These are such amazing works of art with as many as 17 layers of paint in some spots. The last one sold in 2007 for 41 million pounds.


This was one of our favorites and certainly a very small one, maybe 4' x 5'.




Can you get a feel for how large they are?  He wanted them displayed in an oval room and so the paintings are actully flat panels curving away from the wall....can you see the shadows at the bottom showing the curve?

He did 19 of these tryptich, super large paintings (60-70 feet long) and 250-300 smaller ones...all with the same theme...water lilies.


Here's his house in Giverny, France.  We didn't get to see it last year when we were in Paris because it was closed but I went in my 20s with my mother...unforgettable.


It was a very simple house with very little furnishings.  It is amazing to me that he moved his family from Paris to the outskirts.  At the time that was death to an up and coming artist... I think he just wanted a garden!  We, creative types, love a gardern, don't we?!

Personally, I think he loved his family and the great outdoors.  Many of the other artsits he hung out with were not family folks at all.  

This is his famous footbridge in his garden.  And truly....it does look like this....(take a look back at the second picture from the top).


Those pea gravel pathways are still there.


We did get to the L'Orangerie Museum in Paris last year to see the large collection of water lilies there. Two large oval rooms (that Claude envisioned) with 8 huge triptychs. No one says a word....it will leave you speechless and bring a tear to your eye.  Baby Girl (5  at the time) ran around the room just from the excitement, beauty and magnitude of such a creation.  I allowed her to do it just twice since it was just us and the security guard in the room and he was getting a chuckle out of her thrill.

Thanks Monet for giving us a thrill and a tear all at the same time.  Isn't that a fun emotion? We rarely get to experience that one, n'est-ce pas?


(How cute is this....look, she still has her ballet tights on!)

5 Comments from you:

Carrie ~ said...

That was a wonderful tour, thank you for sharing.

Mary said...

I only managed one visit to the High Museum of Art when I lived in Marietta. I saw the Gees Bend quilts with a friend of mine. We just didn't get into Atlanta very often. I do love Monet's paintings and always look for any that might be at museums I visit when we travel.

Nanci said...

I had not idea that his paintings were so huge! I have a duvet cover of the water lilies one one side and must look to see what the other side is.
Thanks for the memories of Monet!
Excellent history lesson

Carrie P. said...

What a treat! I love Monet's paintings.

Joanna said...

We just went to the Boston Fine Arts Museum for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I was thrilled to see my first Monets and Van Gogh's! They don't have the huge Monets like you saw, just several smaller ones, but to see them in person really is amazing. I would love to see the ones down your way!

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