Art Quotes – Monet – into the light

What an amazing artist French Impressionist Claude Monet was (b. 1840-1826 France).  He was obsessed with colour and light.  He lived and breathed it, as these quotes show.  Monet painted light and its effect.  He was particularly interested in how it transformed the landscape and also its reflective quality upon water.


The very term ‘impressionism’ comes from one the artist’s paintings ‘Impression, Sunrise’.  He lived in London in 1870  for a year and studied Constable and Turner.  He painted his famous painting ‘Impression, Sunrise’ in 1872.  In 1879 he became a widower.  He painted his wife on her deathbed and observed:- 

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. To such an extent indeed that one day, finding myself at the deathbed of a woman who had been and still was very dear to me, I caught myself in the act of focusing on her temples and automatically analyzing the succession of appropriately graded colors which death was imposing on her motionless face.”  


Camille on her deathbed

Monet believed that to understand something,  one had to observe it day after day.  That understanding something sometimes requires practise.  He was relentless in his pursuit. 

I know that to paint the sea really well, you need to look at it every hour of every day in the same place so that you can understand its way in that particular spot and that is why I am working on the same motifs over and over again, four or six times even.  


We’re having marvelous weather and I wish I could send you a little of the sunshine. I am slaving away on six paintings a day. I’m giving myself a hard time over it as I haven’t yet managed to capture the color of this landscape, there are moments when I’m appalled at the colors I’m having to use, I’m afraid what I’m doing is just dreadful and yet I really am understating it; the light is simply terrifying.” 



those lillies

The artist famous for his waterlilies and his garden at Giverny is credited with lots of quotes that contain references to nature and in particular gardening – for example ‘digging and delving’:-  

It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.”    

I like the way Monet humbles himself before nature.  He never thinks that he has conquered painting nature and the way the light affects it.  He always feels he owes a debt to nature – but it’s probably the other way around, judging by this beautiful paint



yellow iris’

“I love you because you are you, and because you taught me how to understand light. Thus you increased me. I regret I cannot give it back to you. Paint, paint ever and ever untill the canvas wears out. My eyes need your color and my heart is happy about you.”  


houses of parliment effect of sunlight in the fog

 In 1923 he had two operations on his cataracts, this may have altered his colour vision.   His colours before the operation have a reddish tone, sometimes indicative of cataracts.

 My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.
Everything I have earned has gone into these gardens. 

 He loved Giverny, which is on the right bank of the river Seine and especially his gardens of which he was the architect  and so able  to dictate his own controlled environment.   


I am following Nature without being able to grasp her…I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.”  

He died aged  in 1826 at the ripe old age of 86.  He had lung cancer.  This quote is so poignant and ironic that such a man who loved nature and was drawn by the light he painted should very nearly go blind.  We still have his vision though and through his paintings, the ability to see what he saw.  A true legacy. 

“I’m working very hard and I would like to paint everything before I cannot see anymore.” 

More Monet quotes here 

and here 

Bridge painting here

Monet Lily image here 

More images here 

Lots of images and quotes here

12 Responses to “Art Quotes – Monet – into the light”

  1. i didn’t know much about monet.
    its really interesting stuff

  2. Hey whilst you were looking into the light – I was trying to look through that dark doorway of yours lol

  3. Monet is one of my favorites, Lynda. Thank-you for this post of quotes!

  4. Thanks Leslie – I’m a massive fan of his pallette – pity we haven’t got his colours in our font. My type wasn’t showing up, so I’ve used yellow. There’s always something disappearing here. Thank for visiting – appreciated very much!

  5. Thank you for this fresh and succinct approach to Monet’s work.

    I learned a lot.

    I was especially inspired by his plea to observe, daily, the same thing.

    And I had no idea he had cataracts – poor man.

  6. Thanks Elizabeth – glad you enjoyed it1 He certainly suffered regarding his health poor thing. I think I understand what he means by observence too. When I was at Uni we always had the same life model: over time we came to know her and her poses by painting and drawing her over and over again. If ever we were a bit short on the portfolio, we could always run up a few drawings of her! Secrets’s out eh- shocking!! Kind of ‘life’ drawing from memory…. Thanks very much for visiting and commenting, it’s very much appreciated!

  7. jadepaloma Says:

    To me, Monet is like the batting of a butterfly’s wing… half ethereal, half perceived, and wholly other-worldly. I loved your post. Please do some more on painting… I would love one on Klimt or Caravaggio… (am also thinking about posting one of my essays on them). Hugs and kisses!

  8. Love Caravagio! what an artist and such a colourful life! The master of shadows. Klimt’s aethetic is just beautiful. I will feature these artists – yes good idea Jadepaloma! So many artists and not enough time. I have pledged to only do artists I actually like, which whittles them down a bit. I did feature Piet Mondrian though, because I think his contribution important. Thanks for stopping by – what do you think of my new liquerice and violet theme? can you smell it? aren’t wordpress wonderful! (that’s yet another hint wordpress) heheh!

  9. jadepaloma Says:

    Licorice and violet… that sounds beyond delicious. I think you are a Serge Lutens girl ;-). If you haven’t tried anything by him yet, please do. May I suggest Un Bois de Violette? And Un Bois Vanille? (Why choose when you can always have both :-))) ). Very glad to have met you! You are an inspiring woman…

  10. Serge Lutens – I’m going to check some of these perfumes out Jadepaloma – in fact I’ve wrote them down. Thanks for the compliment – and I pay it back!

  11. I just finished writing about Monet on my blog and I wish I’d found your quotes while I was writing. I’ve been researching all the main Impressionist painters and their lives are so interesting and their paintings are all so beautiful.

  12. Yes, I’m a big fan myself Jen – thanks for visiting and good luck with your blog, keep at it:)

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