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.