A Day with Monet in Paris

When I was in middle school, I went with my parents and grandparents to a special exhibit of paintings at the Venetian in Las Vegas. It was my first real exposure to fine paintings. At the time, I didn’t know much about art (I’m still not an art historian by a long shot), but I did know that I like what I saw, and that was enough.

The exhibit at the Venetian featured the work of Claude Monet, the most famous of the impressionist painters. I don’t remember many specifics from that first exposure to Monet’s work, but I do remember my dad explaining to me how Monet’s paintings look random up close, but come into focus when you step back.

Since that time, I have taken classes on history and learned more about art. Although my appreciation of many artists has grown greatly because of them, Monet remains one of my very favorites.

Going to see the Monet collection at the Musée Marmatton Monet was one of the coolest things we’ve done so far in Paris.

The museum is an old house. The floors creak, so it’s easy to keep track of everybody. The Monet paintings were displayed on the bottom floor on red walls. I think the red walls helped to bring out the color of the paintings.

Here are some of my favorite paintings:

First up are paintings from the first wall. There was a painting of train in the snow, one of a windmill in Holland, and one of a field of yellow flowers. I love the bright colors in each of these paintings.

IMG_5576

IMG_5578

IMG_5583

The thick brush strokes are visible from the pictures, but up close you can see how thickly the oil paint is layered onto the canvases.

The painting Impression: Sunrise is the painting that gave the impressionist movement its name. Courtney really like it, although I prefer the sunrise painting we found the next day at the Petit Palais museum which is very similar.

IMG_5586

IMG_5801

The bigger Monet paintings were in the other rooms. I liked the painting of the agapanthus flowers. They remind me of home and my mom. (I have a memory of at some point teaching me the word agapanthus.)

IMG_5618

IMG_5595

There was a painting of a cathedral Monet did, which is one of the paintings I looked up when I was learning to play Debussy’s “La Cathedral Engluotie”. I always pictured the climax of the piece, when the cathedral has risen from a swamp, to look something like this.

IMG_5591

And then, of course, you have the paintings that make more sense the farther you get away from them. Can you see what this one is?

IMG_5566

Take a step back.

IMG_5567

Step all the way back.

IMG_5568

It’s one of three paintings that were on display that Monet did of a Japanese footbridge over a pond. I like how the middle one (the reddish one shown above) seems to have autumn leaves raining down into the water of the pond. Or at least that’s how I see it.

And, of course, we saw the lily pond paintings.

IMG_5625

IMG_5575

If you turn this last one upside down, it looks like the lily pads are floating away into the sky under a willow tree.

Any day with a Monet is a good day, don’t you think?

—M.M.

Advertisements

Please comment here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: