Claude Monet Painting with Light

허윤아, 윤정애l승인2016.04.03l수정2016.04.04 13:39l346호 4면

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▲ Many people are viewing the exhibition.

  Nowadays, many people seek to enrich their lives in their spare time and there are many ways to do so. For example, there are photo exhibitions, concerts, art exhibitions, and movies to choose from. The Dankook Herald (DKH) wants to recommend an art exhibition, that Dankookians (students of Dankook University) can see, to make the best use of their spare time. The DKH recently visited ‘Monet, Paints the light’ and highly recommends Dankookians take time out of their busy schedules to see it.

  First, do you know anything about Western art history, including Monet’s art work?  Most renowned Western art started in the middle ages and ran up until the 19th century. The church and the state were the most significant patrons, so most artwork depicted biblical or historical scenes, or portraits of rulers and religious leaders. The history of Western art includes Classical, Medieval, Byzantine, Romanesque, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Modernism and Post Modernism.

  Monet is the most renowned Impressionist artist of the 19th century. The features of 19th century modern art strongly reflect the personality of the artists and their diversity of picture forms. The period is well known for two types of art sculptures and Rodin, Bourdelle, Canova, Rude, and Pio are sculptors frequently identified with this era of modern art. However, in the case of painters, they are split into several different groups. The DKH will introduce the several groups in modern art painting.

  First group is Classicism. Classicism has simple regular forms and the artist does not attempt to express strong emotions. Typical artists of this category are Mengs, Auguste, and Jacques Louis David. The second group is Romanticism. Its attitudes, ideals and feelings are romantic rather than realistic. Romanticism is the pioneer type of modern art. Goya, Gericault, and Delacroix are typical artists identified with this period. Realism recognizes and accepts the true nature of a situation and the painter tries to draw exactly what they see, as they saw it. Typical artists in this category include Courbet and Daumier. Lastly, Impressionism is a style of painting developed in France between 1870 and 1900 and it concentrated on showing the effects of light on things, rather than on clear and exact details. Many well-known artists during the Impressionist period were established as leaders in the field. Impressionist artists include Monet, Manet, Gauguin, Gogh, and Renoir. The DKH would like to suggest you get to know the work of Monet.

  Monet is considered the founder of French Impressionist painting. He was born on November 14, 1840, in Paris, France. He struggled with depression, poverty and illness throughout his life and he died in 1926 at the age of 86.

  He grew up in Normandy, Le Havre a port city. His mother was a musician and credited for his interest in the arts. His first drawing was a caricature. He met his first art teacher, Eugene Boudin, in 1856 when he was just 16 years old. After he met Mr. Boudin, he began studying art in earnest and focused on drawing landscapes.

  Monet lived through the World Wars in Paris where he met Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, and Pisa. He hung out with Auguste Renoir, Sisley, and Bazille. Those relationships helped improve Monet’s painting skills. In 1873, the Impressionist started on his painting ‘Impression, Sunrise’. In this work, the artist painted what he saw in an ungarbled form.

  The last Monet residence was in Giverny. This was in 1886 during the last period of Impressionism. This year was the beginning of Post-impressionism art, when other artists such as Gauguin and Seurat, started to work on their Post-impressionist paintings. However, during this period, Monet was already a famous expert in his field.

  Monet was a great and endeavored person at his own work. He developed and changed his skills, as he needed, in order to achieve success and recognition. He kept putting in an effort until the day he died in 1926.

  Now knowing some basic information about Monet, you should be ready to appreciate the exhibition ‘Monet Paints the Light’. The exhibit is a ‘Convergence Art Exhibition’ at the War Memorial. Convergence art means the curator combines art with IT media. More specifically, it is a digital exhibit, which shows paintings through moving images on a screen.

  This exhibition is divided into 4 parts: The Beginning of Comprehension, The Drawing of Soul, The Moment of Impression, and finally The Light of a Moment. Through this production we see everything from the early caricature art work of Monet up to his later Impressionist masterpieces. The DKH will now introduce his masterpieces to Dankookians based on the explanation from the ‘BonDaVinci’.

 

▲ Impression: Sunrise, 1872

  This piece was submitted to the first Impressionist exhibit in 1872. At the time, the painting reflected a detailed depiction of a scene and was painted using a Renaissance perspective.  One reporter slammed this work and coined the term ‘Impressionism’. As a result, the ‘Impressionist’ artist was born. In this case, the artist paints what he saw as the colors change along with the light, instead of drawing a simple moment in time in the morning.

▲ Woman with a parasol – Madame Monet and her son, 1875

  This work depicts his wife Camille Monet and their son Jean Monet. He painted the fresh mood quickly with rough and fast brushstrokes. His first wife Camille was not only his lover, but the main theme and motive behind his paintings. However, their lives together was never easy. They suffered from severe poverty, frequent opposition to their relationship, and from the untimely death of Camille.

▲ Water Lilies, 1916-1919

  In 1883, he moved to Giverny in France. Here he painted from his house a lot and in the garden. He did a lot of gardening in order to paint more beautiful landscapes. He planted willows, water lilies, and various kinds of plants and installed a Japanese bridge taking into consideration the harmony of colors and detailed arrangements. He often painted the water lilies in his garden. He was famous for saying “I’m good for nothing, except painting and gardening,” as he was heavily into his paintings and the landscape that is often reflected in his work.

  As Gogh was inspired by sunflowers, water lilies would have held the same meaning for Monet. The painting ‘Water Lilies’ is not just the name of one painting. Over the 30 years before he died, he painted about 250 pictures in his series of water lilies. If you see any of the paintings called ‘Water lilies’, you can tell they are not all created from the same locational perspective. In spite of them being of the same material and subject, each one leaves us feeling a different mood depending on the time, weather, and light.

  ‘Monet, Paints the Light’ exhibit is loved by many people, so much so that the War Memorial decided to extend its viewing until May 8. The DKH highly recommends this exhibition to Dankookians. If you see these paintings and listen to the explanation of the curator or an audio guide, you will be fascinated with the attraction of the famous Impressionist painter. Moreover, because of this exhibition format, even people who do not normally enjoy art museums can find a way to easily appreciate it. The moving images create the illusion you are seeing a real scene painted by Monet.

  So before you have to buckle down and focus on your mid-term exams, the DKH recommends you enrich your lives by attending art exhibits, concerts, musicals and so on. This cultural stimulation will help you refresh and refocus in time to improve your busy lives.


허윤아, 윤정애  dankookherald@gmail.com
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