Sunday, April 26, 2009

Looking at Monet's water lilies

In the Musee de l'Orangerie.
The correct title for this series of eight huge paintings is Les Nympheas.   Monet designed the rooms in this building to display them himself.  These are huge canvases that wrap around oval shaped rooms. Ethereal shades of pink, violet, and cobalt make the water lilies appear as if they are floating on the canvas.
I had a rare quiet day all to myself with plenty of time to really look.
I sketched and took notes, what colors are these? How did he make these transitions?
And why does it come together so completely when I sit at a distance, and yet look so abstract, gestural,  and exciting when I get in really close?
And can you guess which tourist is me?