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An Artist’s View – Monet

Updated: Jan 21


 

“People discuss my art and pretend to understand it as if it were necessary to understand when it’s simply necessary to love.” 

 


Monet's "Lily Pond" at the Orangerie in Paris.

Monet seems to feel that his work needs no explanation. It should be merely viewed. But he goes further. Is he saying that it must be loved? Is it necessary to analyze a piece of art? Does this apply to sculpture and other forms of artistic expression? Why do we make comments about an artwork? Some artists may enjoy these comments from viewers.


Monet's Boats at Giverny (Watercolour) 15.75" x 18.5" Matted with v-groove and shrink wrapped, by Victoria Zyluk

Perhaps viewers are testing out their observations or trying to make a connection with the artist and showing support. It seems rather disparaging and unfair to the viewer when Monet uses the words “pretend to understand” as if no one understands the artist. There may be some truth in that the work may not be understood. But does artwork need to be understood to be appreciated. Is Monet displaying superiority in this remark? He was his own worst critic and infinitely frustrated by his struggle to capture and represent the illusive atmosphere of the moment.


Scenes from Honfleur where the Impressionists would gather at the cafe from where the two photographs to the right were taken.

He even felt that his life was a failure! Monet dared to be different and broke the rules of artwork of the times. He pursued his own path. Monet transcended the desire for accolades and the need for approval. And perhaps indirectly he also recognizes that understanding him was not necessary and that his wives Camille and later Alice needed only to love him.

At this point I must admit that I have always been an admirer of Monet’s work and have sought to emulate him. He truly was a genius!  

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

 

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