Monet in Normandy: Cleveland Art Museum’s Current Exhibit

It was a cold but brilliant day here in Cleveland. Too cold to do any gardening, but that does not mean that I couldn’t enjoy a bit of the outdoors inside.

I was given two free tickets to the Cleveland Art Museum’s exhibit of Monet in Normandy and so I figured that I should attempt to shove some civility into the four males in my house. I packed my kids and my husband into the car and we headed into the city.

I personally loved the Monet exhibit. Right off the bat was the painting “Garden at Sainte-Adresse” (pictured right). The painting shows a wonderful garden with nasturtiums and gladiolas blooming brilliantly all over. The sun is hard and bright and you can just feel the warmth that the residents are experiencing. I want to live in Monet’s world right now.

The rest of the exhibit was wonderful as well and I was feeling very cultured. My kids were feeling very bored and my husband was feeling very relieved when I said we could go. But I have found that art appreciation is much like a garden. You have to plant a few seeds and hope they grow into something more.

Despite the reaction of my family had to Monet, I was impressed (no pun intended) with the unique way that Monet painted landscape. I once heard that there was a theory that the famous impressionist painters suffered from eye problems. What the world saw as a revolutionary art style was actually how these people saw the world.

I don’t know if this is true. I do know that Monet did have cataract problems later in life and the progressive nature of cataracts was very evident in his work. I can only imagine the nightmare that this was for him. He eventually lost his eyesight and it was only then that he was willing to submit to the surgeons scalpel to regain his sight. I have set my own eyes under the knife, so I know how scary that can be Considering he did it nearly 100 years before me, the man had to be desperate. Even after his surgery, he suffered from rare disorders, xanthopsia and cyanopsia, which further affected his paintings.

Monet was a man who could appreciate the beauty of a garden or a flower and on this cold March day, I am thankful for that. Now, if I could get my kids to appreciate the beauty of Monet, I think that I could perform miracles.

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