Colors of Autumn–& Cataracts – in Art & Life! (Monet & My Grandma)

Cher’s Famous Art

19 September 2020

”Japanese Foot Bridge”

Claude Monet, c. 1923-25, French Impressionist

Travel Tips: Giverny

Colors of Autumn–and Cataracts. As we begin to watch the Minnesota colors turn from bright greens to oranges, golds and browns, I have been thinking about paintings that portray autumn.

Monet

When one thinks of Claude Monet, one usually thinks of soft pastels and fresh greens, especially those done of his water lilies in his home in Giverny. But the Monet painting at our local Mia (Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota) is nothing like the others; it is darker, also more somber–more autumn.

Japanese Bridge, oil painting by Monet – at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN

I’ve highlighted it this week while sharing one more “typically” Monet with fresh, spring colors. Why is the Mia one so dark? Monet’s style changed along with his eyesight.

“Cataract” Art – Grandma & Monet

This Mia painting always reminds me of my grandmother who in her later years engaged in the artistic genre of knitting slippers and afghans for us all. She would choose the colors from a selection of yarns my aunt would provide for her. Like Monet, as Grandma increased in years, her color pallet went from soft pastels to darker, more intense colors. Like Monet, my grandma suffered from cataracts in her later years, greatly impacting the colors she used in her creations.

Japanese Bridge, the early colors

Monet’s Japanese Bridge over the water lily pond using his earlier pastel colors

Giverny Today

Visiting Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, France (40 miles NW of Paris), has been a highlight of my travels to France. The gardens and house are still in his family and their foundation has recreated the place to be much as Monet designed it and where he painted many of his most famous and best loved paintings. (Giverny.org)

Japanese Bridge on Water Lily Pond, Photograph by Cher B 2014

I’ve also included photos I took of his Japanese Bridge and water lilies to portray what a great job the foundation has done to duplicate the grounds to what it was when Monet lived and painted there.

Water lilies at Giverny, France by Cher B 2014

“Japanese Bridge” (C 1923-25) oil on canvas. Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN

“Japanese Bridge” (1899) oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. 32” x 40”

TRAVEL TIP: Visiting Monet’s Gardens in Giverny, France (40 miles NW of Paris), has been a highlight of my travels to France. The gardens and house are still in his family and their foundation has recreated the place to be much as Monet designed it and where he painted many of his most famous and best loved paintings. (Giverny.org)

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