Beach at Trouville, Claude Monet (1870)
Image provided by Mississippi Museum of Art
Monet was thirty years old when he stood on this beach and produced five paintings. He was there with Camille and their three year old son. He married Camille that summer. Not long after that the two of them, as well as their son, fled to London. Months later Paris fell to the German forces.
That day Monet worked as the sand blew and stuck onto the canvas.
It didn't stop him.
The sand remains in that painting today.
Josh asks, Do you even know what impressionism is?
No. I take it literally. I just figure it was his impression at the time.
It's about painting light.
Monet had decided not to pursue a career in groceries like his father. Instead, at eleven years old, he entered art school. Five years later his mother died, and he went to live with his aunt.
I think I am overcompensating for what little I know about art.
Josh nods his head, Get rid of the first four paragraphs. It's confusing.
That's what I thought. I just needed you to say it.
I like what you did on Monet though.
His seven year commitment to the military of Algeria ended within two years as a result of his own battle with typhoid fever.
Here in this painting we see decadence on a beach. Men in suits, women in dresses all at a distance. To the right monstrosities of buildings, flags waving in the wind. There is a boardwalk, an expanse of water to the left.
To my modern day eyes, now that I know what I know, now that I studied Monet's history this painting means so much more to me. It is a day at the beach with his love and their son and a war coming. It is Claude Monet working with the elements as the sand blew into his oils. Now it is not just a day at a beach though it still is. Now it is also frustration and worry and how Monet conveyed it so perfectly.
Today I am grateful for those that took the time and the effort and what was surely at least some frustration to let us know what they saw.