Archive for monet

Under Art’s Umbrella

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , , on June 24, 2010 by echostains

Portrait-Of-Lise-With-Umbrella Renoir

It’s getting a little cooler here, but no rain as yet.  The umbrellas can stay dry for the moment.  The umbrella invented thousands of years ago, but became popular in the Western world in the 16th century.It  has been used in art quite a lot, more than I originally thought.

renoir-the-umbrellas 1883

 Renoir’s Lise with umbrella was painted in 1867.   Renoir features the umbrella in his Parisian street scene ‘Umbrellas’ ,  1883.  the painting is also interesting because of the way the artist is unafraid of cutting pieces of the people from the picture – like a snapshot.

In John Singer Sargent’s  (1856 -1925) painting ‘Early Morning Walk’ the model is the artist’s sister Violet, I love the way the light plays upon this painting. 

John Singer Sargent Morning Walk

 I was amazed when researching these umbrellas, just how many times Singer Sargent used these in his paintings!  Of course they’re not all umbrellas, sometimes they are parasols (to save the ladies fine complexions from the sun).  I suppose they were the first ‘sunscreen’.

Parasols as well as providing protection, were also a colourful and feminine accessory for the woman.  Even Monet painted the Lady with the parasol – and with good effect!

monet The Walk Lady with a Parasol 1875


Seurat Sunday afternoon

Parasols abound in the famous Sunday Afternoon in the Park painted by Neo impressionist Georges Seurat.  He used Pointillism –  tiny dots of colour to create this masterpiece which took him two years to complete!

But I can’t leave out Rene Magritte surrealistic ‘La Grande Guerre’ (The Big War) 1964.  This work is often compared to his self-portrait ‘The Son of Man’  this is what the artist said about ‘The Son of Man’;- 

At least it hides the face partly. Well, so you have the apparent face, the apple, hiding the visible but hidden, the face of the person. It’s something that happens constantly. Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see. There is an interest in that which is hidden and which the visible does not show us. This interest can take the form of a quite intense feeling, a sort of conflict, one might say, between the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.      quote from here

Magritte, The Son of Man

If we compare the Grande Guerre with ‘The Son of Man’ we can see a more optimistic and tranquil picture smelling of sweet flowers and hope.

Renoir umbrellas here
John Singer Sargeant Morning Walk here  
Group with parasols by Singer Sargent here
More umbrellas from Sargent here, Monet Lady with Parasol here Seurat image here and Magritte Son of man image from here

Art Quotes – Monet – into the light

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ART QUOTES, HISTORY with tags , , , , on March 22, 2010 by echostains
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

‘Happy Birthday Paul Cezanne!)

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by echostains


Paul Cezanne

 Today is the birthday of Paul Cezanne the French Post impressionist (1839 – 1906).  Cezanne, son of a banker in Province, he came to fame relatively late in life  He studied law before entering his father’s bank (1859 -61) but left to study art in Paris at Académie Suisse, where he met Pissarro, Monet and many other painters though he failed his entrance exam for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.  Pissarro became an important influence in Cezanne’s early career, introducing him to some of the techniques of impressionism.  But Cezanne wanted to lend more weight to, what he referred as the lack of structure of impressionist painting;-

“I want to make of impressionism something solid and lasting like the art in the museums” 


mount sainte victoire

Early in his career, Cezanne used to paint from memory rather than use actual models , though later in his career, the artist  preferred to work from his own observation of nature and the permanancy of classical composition.  Cezanne painted still lifes and Landscapes for a long time and was obsessed with the geometric shapes of the cone, cylinder and sphere which appear in nature, as well as colour as  tone. In his early work his  main concern was with the figure within the landscape. 


The Bathers Cezanne


Cezanne was very influential towards other artists and is sometimes called the ‘father of modern art’ as he paved the way towards abstraction and Cubism.  This can be seen by the strong geometry element that lies within his work, coupled with solidity and depth of volume and form.  This flattening of space and form did indeed go a long  some way to influencing  Picasso and cubism.   Picasso who didn’t give praise lightly, had this to say about Cezanne: 

“My one and only master . . . Cezanne was like the father of us all”.

There are a lot more of artist’s birthdays – look in my categoreis

For a more detailed look at this artists life HERE and HERE

THIS  site has a lot of his work