Friday, August 23, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Claude Monet

Claude Monet is one of those artists that lots of people have heard of, but he and his fellow Impressionist, Edouard Manet, are often confused. Yes, their names are pronounced similarly. And yes, they had similar painting styles. They were both French, both very influential, and both seem to have been fond of Duck Dynasty-style facial hair. However, they were in fact different people. Is it hard to keep them straight? If nothing else, just remember that Monet was the lilies guy:

And Manet was not. 

My favorite Monet painting is this one, "Impression, Sunrise":

It is what the Impressionist movement was named after. Monet was basically the founder of the whole thing; he was the one who really moved away from realism and all of that and started painting just an "impression" of an image, rather than a perfect rendition of it. "Impression, Sunrise" is my favorite because of it's originality and all, as one of the first Impressionist paintings, and just the loose line quality and the colorfulness of it. If you've read any of my other blog posts, you might have found that I like a lot of the looser things like this, where the lines feel and look so effortless and expressive. I love the colors, and the contrast between the bright orange, sky blue, and deep green on that muddy, grayish-tan background. 

Or at least it seems grayish-tan. Look closer, and you find that it's a lot of soft colors woven together. Which is cool.

Another reason I love "Impression, Sunrise" so much is the way the brightness, or "luminescence", of the colors. Take a look at this:

If you make it black and white, the sun seems to disappear entirely. If you look closely, you can just see the edges of it, but only just. I don't know why that fascinates me so much, but I simply love looking from one version to the other, watching the sun appear and disappear before my eyes. Such a thrill. I guess I'm easily entertained.

Anyway, what's your favorite Monet painting, and how do you remember the difference between Monet and Manet?

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