Sunday, May 26, 2013

Book Review: Monet

Yesterday I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Orange Public Library. As I was shelving the books in their sections, I came across the Art/Art History section. Now, if you read my blog, you will see that I'm very much into art and visiting museums.

I came across a wonderful Scholastic book that I purchased for $1. (By the way, they have great books for affordable prices) The book titled simply, Famous Artists: Monet, by Antony Mason is a storylike telling of the artist's life and works.

Although a children's book, it fascinated me because of the way it was put together. I learned very much about the French artist. I learned that he was from France, that he started drawing caricatures when he was young and would sell his caricatures to his friends and teachers.

Monet was very poor for most of his life and his personal life was filled with scandal. He married his muse, Camille, but only after a long time of living together which society very much frowned upon. He was one of the few artists of his days to paint outside, not indoors like most of the artists of his time. He joined a group of artists that also drew outside to form a group of "Impressionist" artists. This name was given to the artists as a derogatory term however they liked it and kept the name.

Monet's first wife, Camille, died of illness, partly due to the lack of medicine. The Monet's were very poor and lived with another artist and his family for financial reasons. Alice, the wife of the other artist took care of Camille until her death and Monet ended up falling in love with Alice. They ended up getting married and Alice and her 4 children moved in with Monet and his 2 children.

In the 1880's people finally began respecting Monet's work and he lived happily with his second wife Alice. Throughout his later years, he began to lose his vision however he continued to paint.

It astonished me how quickly he painted his works and fought against sunlight in order to speed up the finish. His works are very much defined by quick strokes and the way the sunlight affects his paintings. Monet lived from 1840-1926 and is one of France's greatest artists.

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