My Paris Favorite: Claude Monet, the Water Lilies, and L’Orangerie
“Thanks to water, [Monet] has become the painter of what we cannot see. He addresses that invisible spiritual surface that separates light from reflection. Airy azure captive of liquid azure … Color rises from the bottom of the water in clouds, in whirlpools.”
Claude Monet, Water Lilies, Paris and L’Orangerie
This month, I’m sharing some of my favorite photographs from Art around Europe that I was able to see during my time living there.
My family and I visited L’Orangerie in Paris and were able to see Claude Monet’s Water Lilies paintings. The exhibit is stunning, and these are my photographs of the Water Lilies.
Even after walking along the Seine, through the Tuileries Gardens, around the Eiffel Tower and Arc D’ Triumph and Trocodero, and after mass at the Notre Dame on Ile d’Cite, Musée de l’Orangerie in Jardin des Tuileries was my favorite in all of Paris, even after I’ve visited the city many times.
For as long as I can remember, Claude Monet has been one of my favorite artists; his Impressionistic style has always resonated with me deeply. As a teen, I bought posters of the Water Lilies and kept them framed and hanging on walls of my room, wherever I moved. So to see Monet’s actual work, up close and personal, was a dream.
It is difficult to explain in mere words the substantive presentation of Monet’s Les Nympheas (The Water Lilies) … so I’m including several photographs, along with quotes from Monet, to better portray his masterpieces and their sheer beauty.
“It took me time to understand my waterlilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them.” -Claude Monet
“My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece.”
“I can only draw what I see.”
“Everything I have earned has gone into these gardens.” (on his gardens at Giverny)
“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.”
“It took me time to understand my waterlilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them.”
“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.”
“It’s on the strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way. So we must dig and delve unceasingly.”
Starting the Discussion: What art inspires you? Who is your favorite artist? Do you have a favorite art museum you go to for inspiration?