Monet: The Beautiful Blurs

Artlytics Org
3 min readNov 8, 2020


奥斯卡-克洛德·莫奈(Oscar-Claude Monet)(1840–1926)印象派的创始人和代表人物。

Oscar-Claude Monet (1840–1926) is the founder and representative of Impressionism.

Impression, sunrise, Claude Monet, 1872, Oil on canvas, 48cm x 63cm, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris


In Monet’s world, light and shadow are the real subjects of the paintings. He likes to portray the same subject from different angles and at different points in time. In 1872, he created the “Impression” series of paintings in his hometown of Le Havre, recording the light and shadow changes of the dock in the morning, day, evening, and night. “Impression·Sunrise” is the most famous of the six works. Two years later, the “Impression” series was exhibited in Paris, France. However, art critic Louis Leroy gave an evaluation that “even a random wallpaper is more complete than this seascape painting.” Leroy borrowed the name “Impression” to mock the painting lacking details, and in fact was messy and vague.


But now, “Impressionism”, originally used for satire, has become an important term in art history, and Monet has also become a well-known master of the art. No one knows how Leroy would think about this.

Woman with a Parasol — Madame Monet and Her Son, Claude Monet, 1875, Oil on canvas, 100cm x 81cm, National Gallery of Art, Wahsington, DC

卡米耶·东西厄(Camille Doncieux)是莫奈的第一任妻子,同时也是他多幅作品中的模特。两人十分相爱,育有两子。画面中的小男孩与打阳伞的女人形成三角构图,使得画面平衡稳定。画面以蓝色和绿色为主色调,明亮轻快,多个色块层次丰富,给人以梦幻之感。这幅作品绘于莫奈人生中较为平顺的一个时期,事业正向着光明的方向发展,家有娇妻幼子,所以整个画面也充满阳光和鲜花,微风和云朵。

Camille Doncieux was Monet’s first wife and also the model in many of his works. The two are very in love and have two children. The little boy in the picture and the woman playing with a parasol form a triangular composition, making the picture balanced and stable. The main color of the picture is blue and green, bright and lively, and multiple color blocks are rich in layers, giving people a sense of the dream. This work was painted during a relatively smooth period in Monet’s life. His career is developing in a bright direction. There are sweet wives and young children in the family, so the whole picture is also full of sunshine, flowers, breeze, and clouds.

Camille Monet on her deathbed, Claude Monet, 1879, Musée d’Orsay, Paris

1879年,莫奈夫人因子宫癌卧病在床,莫奈画下了《卡米耶在病床之上》,画面色调忧郁,悲伤的痕迹,死亡的阴影,无一不流露于画面中。但莫奈也曾经说过:“I one day found myself looking at my beloved wife’s dead face and just systematically noting the colors according to an automatic reflex!” 或许他最爱的人还是这光影与艺术吧。

In 1879, Camille was ill in bed due to uterine cancer. Monet painted “Camille Monet on her deathbed”. The melancholy tone, traces of sadness, and the shadow of death are all revealed in the picture. But Monet also once said: “I one day found myself looking at my beloved wife’s dead face and just systematically noting the colors according to an automatic reflex!” Perhaps his favorite person is still this light and art.

Water Lilies and the Japanese bridge, Claude Monet, 1899, 89cm x 93cm, Princeton University Art Museum


In 1883, Monet rented a house in Giverny, France. The barn, orchard, and small garden surrounding the house provided a lot of inspiration for Monet. His paintings gradually became popular. A few years later, he bought the house and surrounding buildings, he built a studio, a greenhouse, and worked with the hired gardeners to take care of the orchard and garden. Monet loved his small garden very much, especially the water lilies in the garden. In the following 20 years, he created nearly 250 paintings related to water lilies, and the “water lily” has also become a symbol of Monet.

The Japanese Bridge, Claude Monet, 1917–1920, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam


Around 1911, Monet began to show signs of cataracts. The cataracts affected his vision, and his clarity and tone changed. The water lilies in his works have also become fuzzy and bluish.

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