Friday, January 21, 2011

Four Monets at Portland Art Museum!

As a special exhibit, Portland Art Museum hung four Monet paintings in one room of their Contemporary building. Dating from 1879 ("River at Lavacourt") to 1888 ("Le Chateau d'Antibes") to 1914 ("Waterlilies") to 1917 ("Nymphaes"), the show was gorgeous!

The earlier pieces were more carefully rendered, much more detailed than the later pieces.

At first, I thought the water lilies were rough, and somewhat inexpertly painted. Especially the ovals of the lily pads. But, as I stepped back from the paintings, ten feet, then twenty feet, it was magic. The rough ellipses became ripples from an insect on the water, a shadow under a pad, light shimmering across the surface of the water.

Transcendent. Monet. I have a whole new respect for his work and for his vision.


SamArtDog said...

Oh, lucky lucky you! I'm so glad you saw this. Thanks for the nice slide show.

Monet did "shimmer" better than anyone. Ever. He was also pretty good at "step back". Hand in hand, aren't they?

B Boylan said...

It's nice to hear that the PAM brought their babies back out for the public to view. I've seen them before and they are simply beautiful to see up close and then from afar. The way they are s'pose to be seen, in person! A huge inspiration!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Hi Sam! The paintings were amazing, like those old optical posters where you don't see what's there until you get back just far enough.

Brenda, two of the paintings are on loan so this is a special treat! Hope you get there to see them before they leave January 31. It's worth the trip!