The Met Museum? Totally overwhelming. I was absolutely stunned after I walked up those steps just to be faced with a ginormous Greek column. It was honestly insane and my belly did flippy flops for about ten minutes straight, and longer after realizing I was completely surrounded by ancient Greek art. I about lost my damn mind. That, however, is a post for another time. I’ll make sure to include that insane column.
I went to The Met to hunt down a specific painting, so I eventually walked up some more steps and into the European art section. I was not prepared. I found more beautiful paintings and found another artist to research while researching another. But now I’m going to throw you a curve-ball; I’m not writing today about either of those artists. I still have some more research to go, and quite frankly, Claude Monet will always be my first artist love. I am desperate to be able to paint in the impressionistic style.
Claude Monet, Bridge Over A Pond Of Water Lillies, 1899
Claude Monet will always be my first artist love. I am desperate to be able to paint in the impressionistic style.
You probably have already seen this painting before, but have you seen close ups? That is exactly what I did at The Met, I put my zoom on and got close to get those nitty gritty details you see here. What makes impressionism so cool is the fast pace that it is done in. This is also oil paint, which famously takes a bit to dry depending on the pigment/color, so Monet had to go back to the same spot at the same time of day for multiple days to complete this. You can see it in the layers of colors that are clearly underneath another color, specifically the lights that are on top of the darks, without smudging and becoming dark too. You can see the brush strokes throughout the painting , and my personal favorite, the globs of paint that were put on the canvas as he was putting in the shapes to create the subject. Up close the paint looks kind of rough, there aren’t many, if at all, smooth lines within this piece. However, when you back up and look at it as a whole, it’s a very cohesive beautiful piece with gorgeous colors creating those details. Monet’s use of color is actually why he is my favorite. In many of his other pieces he uses pastel colors and shades you wouldn’t expect, yet they’re beautiful.
Claude Monet, The Path Through The Irises, 1914-17
I have to say, I apologize for the wack picture of the whole painting. It was HUGE and too many people in the way for me to get a head on picture. This link will take you to The Met’s page about it, the same goes for Bridge Over A Pond Of Water Lillies. Anyway, because this painting was so large I was able to get really close to the details. You can see almost every brush stroke, none of them clean and smooth. In the flowers themselves there’s more of a thickness, probably due to the blending of the two shades of purple while the paint was still wet. In the stems, he uses blues and browns to darken them instead of straight black. This is actually still the way current art students are taught to create shadows in their artworks as it is a softer, more natural and gradual way to execute shadowing. I distinctly remember learning that both in High School and my college level art classes. I love the long leaves in this painting, you can see where the paint tapers off as he pulls the brush off to avoid any hard lines. I can almost feel them brush against my skin as if I was walking past. Additionally the yellow ochre path gives really good contrast against the cool tones of the plants. It’s definitely worth seeing in person, as there is so much texture on the canvas that you can’t always see through a photo. This goes for all of Monet’s paintings really.
The Met was intense, and I didn’t even finish it. I somehow forgot to get a shot of a painting I’d love to write about at some point, hopefully by then the Asia exhibits will be open again too. I got lost while in the museum too, just like I did at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Regardless of size of the museum, I think that’s going to be a trend for me.
Plot twist! I’m not done! I just so happened to be in Pittsburgh, and was able to also take a gander at the Carnegie Museum of Art. It’s connected to their Natural History museum too so It was an absolute blast. But oh, what did I see there, you ask? A huge giant larger than life biggest painting I’ve seen (probably) done by… Monet. I was shook. It could have wrapped around my childhood bedroom and STILL had extra on the end. I’m always amazed whenever I see a painting that is done at extremely large calibers. Just how long did it take? I know he likely made the canvas himself, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby didn’t exist. Not that they would have had something that large anyways *Hair Toss*.
Claude Monet, Water Lilies (Nymphéas), c. 1915-1926
Of course I had to take two different angles just to show just how large this thing is. It is a whopping (roughly) 77 x 234 inches. I had to take a step back. And then another. And then a few more. The colors in it were really beautiful, and rich. I seem to be coming across more of his darker (in color I mean) paintings as opposed to the pastel ones, which are actually my favorite. So just a little farther down, I was quite thrilled to see the iconic use of light pinks and blues that can almost signify a Monet painting.
Claude Monet, Waterloo Bridge, London, 1903
I am obsessed with Monet’s use of light pinks and blues he uses for highlights. It makes everything look just a little more magical than they actually are. And it is with this beautiful piece that I will end this (woops) long post of mine. Which really just means you should totally just stare at these pieces for about 15 minutes longer and really take it in. I hope your zoom buttons work, you’ll need them.
Also, yes I got lost in the Carnegie Museum of Art as well. I’m a… lost cause. *Badum TSSS*