Tag Archives: Impressionism

Color & Light for Tuesday

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It’s not Monday but I am in the mood for Monet as portrayed by our lovely Richard in The Impressionists. I know some of you are experiencing a wet, gloomy day so perhaps a bit of our passionate painter and his lovely art would be in order? Happy Tuesday!

“Cliffs Near Dieppe” by Monet

This particular painting has been stolen and recovered twice from the Musee Des Beaux Arts in Nice.

“Irises” in Monet’s garden at Giverny

“Field of Tulips”

Boating party enjoying a spot of fishing at Giverny.

The Accountant & the Artist: The Sunshine of Those Smiles . . .

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So many of Richard’s roles have been rather serious ones–requiring a lot of angst, brooding and “faces like thunder.” He’s great at it, of course, but sometimes you need a little lightness. So the roles that allow him to laugh and smile are always welcome, because he does both so heartily, beautifully, endearingly. We get those sunny smiles with sweet Harry Kennedy the accountant in The Vicar of Dibley and as Claude Monet, the artist filled with joie de vivre in The Impressionists. Oh, the sunshine of those smiles . . .

More Monet for Monday

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It’s been a dreary-looking day here, cooler and wet. There is a definite taste of fall in the air–which is just fine with me.  However, I do feel the need for a little more of that sunshine that a certain Impressionist artist filled with joie de vivre brings to the table.

One of Monet’s paintings of his beautiful garden at Giverny. A sight to brighten a gloomy day. Not unlike Richard.

As Linda60 pointed out in a comment on the previous Monet post, Richard really manages to capture the essence and spirit of an artist with a true passion for his work. It’s likely that’s true at least in part to the fact RA himself is so full of passion for his own art.  The infectious energy and enthusiasm, the intensity and sensitivity Richard brings to the role captivates us, just as he captivates us in real life when discussing his craft and his roles.  And we get those sweet smiles and glorious grins with Monet that the “real” Richard also shares with us.  It’s all good.

This is not only one of my favorite photos of Monet, it’s also one of my favorites of Richard. I love that three-quarter view. His bone structure is displayed so beautifully; those luminous eyes and and the cupid’s-bow of his upper lip so well defined, the mouth hinting at a smile. It just draws me in.

Camille and their little one together in the garden.

I’m in the Mood for Monet . . .

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Claude Monet-Madame Monet en costume japonais

Madame Monet in Japanese costume

c. 1920

c. 1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Richard Armitage‘s luminous performance as Claude Monet in The Impressionists popped into my head this morning. And so I share some of Monet’s work and my fan art of this talented actor. What a wonderful portrayal of the sensitive artist with a passion for light and color . . .

Water Lilies

Water Lilies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An artist’s paradise: Claude’s home & garden

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I have a long list of places I would like to visit on a return trip to France, and one that would be very close to the top of that list is Claude Monet‘s house and gardens in Giverny. Even though I was not personally blessed with a green thumb, I love visiting beautiful gardens, I love history and I love Impressionist art. Doesn’t hurt that I also am extremely fond of Richard Armitage. His portrayal from youth to middle age of this brilliant painter passionate about art in the television series, The Impressionists is one of my favorites. Richard captured the enthusiasm, incandescence and sensitivity of the artist,  with joy, frustration and pain glimmering in those cerulean blue eyes.

Monet did learn to love nature and was inspired by the beauty of flowers and water.  For more than 43 years, he lived in the tiny village of Giverny, Normandy, in a charming house with a crushed pink brick exterior and grass green shutters.

Monet moved there in 1883 with Alice, his second wife. A piece of sloping land containing an orchard and pine trees was perfect for a garden. This become known as Clos Normand, a paradise filled with a rainbow of colors, amazing perspectives and symmetries.



Clos Normand

The land at Clos Normand is divided into flowerbeds where flower clumps of different heights create volume. Fruit trees or ornamental trees dominate the climbing roses, the long -stemmed hollyhocks and the colored banks of annuals. Monet mixed the simplest flowers (daisies and poppies) with the most rare varieties, creating a riot of color to please the eye and excite both the painter and gardener. By the turn of the century, many artists were visiting Giverny to be inspired by nature’s beauty.

The central alley of Clos Normand is covered over by iron arches on which climbing roses entwine themselves. Other rose trees cover the balustrade along the house. At the end of the summer nasturtiums invade the soil in the central alley.

Claude  did not like organized nor constrained gardens, preferring something more informal and inviting. He married flowers according to their colours and left them to grow rather freely.

With the passing years he developed a passion for botany, exchanging plants with his friends Clemenceau and Caillebotte.  Always on the look-out for rare varieties, he bought young plants at great expense. “All my money goes into my garden,” he said. But he also added, “I am in rapture.”

The Japanese Water Garden

In 1893, ten years after his arrival at Giverny, Monet bought the piece of land neighboring his property on the other side of the railway. It was crossed by a small brook, the Ru, which is a diversion of the Epte, a tributary of the Seine River. With the support of the prefecture, Monet had the first small pond dug, despite the objections of neighboring peasants who were afraid that his strange plants would poison the water.

Later on the pond would be enlarged to its present day size. The water garden is full of asymmetries and curves. It is inspired by the Japanese gardens that Monet knew from the prints he collected avidly.

In this water garden you will find the famous Japanese bridge covered with wisterias, other smaller bridges, weeping willows, a bamboo wood and above all the famous nympheas which bloom all summer long. The pond and the surrounding vegetation form an enclosure separated from the surrounding countryside.

Never before had a painter so shaped his subjects in nature before painting them. And so he created his works twice. Monet would find his inspiration in this water garden for more than twenty years. After the Japanese bridge series, he would devote himself to the giant decorations of the Orangerie.

After Monet’s death in 1926, the house passed on to his son, Michel, who did not live there. Damaged by bombings during the war, the house and gardens had fallen into a sad state of disrepair by the late 1940s.  In 1966, Michel Monet made the Academie Des Beaux Arts his heir.

In 1977, a decision was made to restore the garden and home to their states when Monet still lived at Giverny. A massive undertaking was restoration of the house with its shattered windows. rotting beams, collapsed stairways and even three trees growing inside Monet’s old studio. It took a decade to do so, but with the help of generous donors–many of whom were Americans–today Monet’s longtime home and gardens once again welcome visitors who come to marvel at nature’s beauty and to put their own impressions on canvas.

A House Brimming with Color

The original house was much smaller, but Monet had two large wings added, making it an unusually long structure. The extra space was needed for the family of ten to sleep, eat and entertain and for the artist to work . The barn next to the house served as Claude’s first studio with stairs connecting it to the house.

 

Monet's original studio.

While Monet mostly worked outdoors, the barn studio was a great place to finish canvases and to store them. This later become his smoking room where he would welcome art dealers,  collectors, critics and other visitors. Above the studio there was an apartment with a bedroom and bathroom for Monet.  He had another bedroom that connected to Alice’s via the bathrooms, and this bedroom was adorned with many paintings by fellow artists such as Renoir, Sisley, Morisot and Boudin.

This is the simple bed in which Claude passed away in 1926. You can see some of his fellow artists' work on the walls.

Monet chose all the colors for the interior, dismissing the dark, heavy Victorian woods so popular in favor of shades of blue, yellow, purple and green with lots of large windows to allow plenty of light and air to enter the home.

The man was obsessed with color. Monet's sunny yellow dining room at Giverny.

The charming country kitchen features a fireplace tiled in blue and white and a display of shining copper pans.

The furnishings and Japanese prints you see throughout the house are exactly the same as in Monet’s day, giving it a feeling of real authenticity. The house and garden are open for tours seven months out of the year.

 

An image of Claude Monet in his garden in Give...

An image of Claude Monet in his garden in Giverny with an unidentified visitor. From The New York Times photo archive, dated only 1922, author not given (the image presumably in a Times December 24, 1922 profile on the painter). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(screencaps RAnet; home and garden images Wikipedia and Giverny.org)

Here’s to the Painters of Light & Luminous Smiles

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Berthe Morisot by Edouard Manet-1872

Berthe Morisot by Edouard Manet-1872 (Photo credit: kamikazecactus)

Claude Monet : Rue St Denis, Fête du 30 juin 1878

Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son

Woman with a Parasol - Madame Monet and Her Son (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Claude Monet’s painting of Rue Saint-Denis on the National Holiday

Several of you have mentioned you share my affection for Richard’s portrayal of the great Impressionist artist Claude Monet and the Impressionist School. Today, when we look at the paintings of Monet, RenoirBazille, Morisot and their fellow artists, we see many pretty, luminous pictures filled with shimmering color.

'La Lecture," a charming painting by Berthe Morisot, a prominent female Impressionist.

Renoir's delightful rendering of "The Boating Party."

Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Frédéric Bazille
Pierre-Auguste Renoir - Frédéric Bazille (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Portrait of the painter Claude Monet

Portrait of the painter Claude Monet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Monet's love for capturing the beauty of flowers and water is shown in his many paintings of waterlilies.

But we mustn’t forget this group was revolutionary, downright radical for the times. These artists chose to escape from the rigid confines of the studio and Biblical/mythological subjects to paint ordinary people doing ordinary things such as frolicking at boating parties, enjoying a good book, bathing a child.

They didn’t just paint hired artists’ models; their friends, family and fellow painters were also their subjects. These artists put farmers’ fields of haystacks and flower-strewn meadows with picnicking families on canvas.

They sought and found the extraordinary beauty in the everyday as they strove to be “painters of light.”

Above you see a portait of Claude (is it just me, or does his real hair look like a darker versions of early John Standring?) and of course, I cannot leave out  Monsieur Monet as depicted by the incandescent Richard Armitage . . . sometimes a girl just needs a little artistry in her life.

In a Monet Mood: Lights & Shadows

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Richard as a luminous Monet. The blue eyes never looked more otherworldly beautiful as in this role.

John Singer Sargent captured Monet at work, the lovely Camille reposing in the background.

 

By now many of you know I love the work of the Impressionist painters–and of Richard’s incandescent performance as the passionate, dedicated, hardworking artist, Claude Monet. If you are familiar with Monet’s work and with Richard’s performance in The Impressionists, these images will strike a chord with you. Seeing that blue smock makes me smile.

Manet captured this portrait of Claude and his little family in the garden at Argentuil.

(screencaps courtesy of RANet & RichardArmitageCentral)

I have also included my second Monet video, which incorporates actual quotes from the artist himself and images of his paintings along with screencaps from the series, paired with Yo-Yo Ma’s poignant cello. It’s bittersweet, not unlike Monet’s own life with its “lights and shadows.”
Not surprisingly, I find it one of my most artistic videos. How can you go wrong with Richard Armitage, Claude Monet and Yo-Yo Ma (and in HD)?

Welcome, Spring!

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(image by elvira sweeney)

Today marks the first day of spring. We could experience a record high here of 86 degrees F.  The pollen counts are high and I’m out of my allergy meds, so I need to pick up more tomorrow. Still, the blue skies and balmy breezes we’ve experienced of late is worth even sinus heachaches and sneezing attacks. So to celebrate the new season, here are some pretty photos.

(screencaps by RANet, florals via Google Images)

How can you NOT love this guy?

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www.richardarmitagenet.com has their latest poll up asking fans which is their least favorite of RA’s characters.  Hydra spy and saboteur Heinz Kruger from Captain America is leading the pack with Paul Andrews of BTS coming in second. These results don’t really surprise me.

But what did rather astonish me were the 5.8 percent who voted for Claude Monet.

Really? Claude with his lovely smiles and infectious laughter, his incandescent blue eyes and his joie de vivre? Claude, who created all those magnificent Impressionist paintings? Look, I know the wig was dodgy and you might not be into the hircine look he acquired later in the series, but–least favorite character?  His attire was sometimes questionable and RA lacked the musculature developed for other roles, but–heavens, let’s not be completely shallow (it’s OK if we are a little shallow).

Granted, I have an art background and the Impressionist school is my favorite, so I might be a wee bit prejudiced, but–really? Monet? I just don’t get it.

Rainy day thoughts fill my head . . .

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Rain, rain go away . . . (this made me think of Edward Gorey's artwork. By horrormove of deviant art)

A storm system is moving through, cold fronts and warm fronts colliding, and the torrential rains were battering the house for a bit. There is a tornado watch out until 4 p.m. but so far, so good. Just heavy rain, some hail and a bit of thunder.
One good thing about the rain. It quietened down the poltergeists in the walls whose antics woke me up from my shut-eye.

And my thoughts return to my novel (dear Leigh sent me some more musings over the fates befalling our characters)  I have been wrestling with managing the plot threads to make sure it all makes sense.

I am determined to do better by the characters than certain television scriptwriters have done by Richard.

I am watching The Sundowners on TCM and wondering how authentic Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum‘s Australian accents would sound to the Aussies out there. I think they’re pretty good. I’ve another idea for a Guy post milling about in my head. I’ve a need to involve my brain in something fun and creative to help me ignore the stubborn aches and pains but my body is also arguing it wants more sleep. Dilemmas, dilemmas.

"Rain Storm" by Childe Hassam, an American Impressionist painter. For some reason, I am envisioning lanky Harry Kennedy strolling through the rain with an umbrella, wearing that cheeky, sweet grin of his.

Ah, Harry. You provide mental sunshine, you dear boy.

I’m in an Impressionist kind of mood . . .

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Another of my favorite artists is Degas. Considered an Impressionist, Degas didn’t like the term and preferred to be called a realist. His vibrant paintings of dancers are my personal favorites, although he also did outstanding work capturing horses on canvas. What’s our connection to the lovely RA? He used to be a dancer . . . and he’s artistic . . . and Degas was one of the artists depicted in The Impressionists. Now I am going to try to catch some ZZZZs. Carry on, ladies.

Aside

I’m in an artistic mood, ladies. Of course, our talented Richard played the passionate artist Claude Monet in The Impressionists, and I just happen to be a huge fan of the Impressionist school of art. So I give you more of Impressionist artist Pierre August Renoir’s luminous paintings–and two of Renoir’s portraits of Claude himself. Oh, and a little bit of RA, too!

Renoir's portrait of Monet reading.

Renoir and a little Monet (real and reel)