Claude Oscar Monet’s Water Lilies Located at The Carnegie Museum of Art Essay

Following my exquisite trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I have chosen to discuss Claude Oscar Monet’s Water Lilies. Water Lilies is actually a series of roughly two-hundred fifty separate, but very similar, paintings of water lilies; however, I have chosen to focus on the one located at the Carnegie Museum of Art (“Water Lilies”). This painting caught my eye when we were focusing on Impressionism and Expressionism in class and I immediately recognized the painting when I saw it in the Carnegie Museum. Impressionism has always been one of my favorite styles of painting and Water Lilies reliably invokes a very calm reaction from me each time I look at the painting.“Monet once wished he had been born blind, in order to experience sight suddenly: to see the world naively, as pure shape and color”; it is curious to think, if he had been born blind, how that may have affected his artwork (William Seitz). However, he was not born blind and his artwork in undeniably a treat for the viewer’s eyes. Monet’s Water Lilies is a blurred painting of water lilies floating in water, with the reflection of the trees rooted in the bank on the surface of the water. The left side of the painting houses the largest cluster of water lilies with bright pink flowers atop them; this cluster serves as the focal point of the piece. Below and touching the focal point is the reflection of one of the trees in the water; two other smaller clusters of water lilies with more muted pink flowers are also touched by the tree’s reflection. On the right side of the painting are two more distinct clusters of water lilies, also being surrounded by the reflection of a tree on the bank. The space between the two trees’ reflections shows a …

… I was writing this essay; if I relax my eyes and let them wander, I begin to feel as though I’m floating or standing in the midst of a dream. As much as it was an escape from reality for Monet, his friends, and his audience, it continues to live out its legacy as an escape from reality for me. I could spend all day in the Carnegie Museum of Art, getting lost in Water Lilies.

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Before visiting the Carnegie Museum of Art in order to complete this assignment, I had never set foot past the threshold of the museum. I was captivated by the architecture of the building before the car had even been put in park; the inside of the museum was just as much of a treat for my eyes as the outside. I hadn’t been to an art museum in many, many months and I had forgotten how therapeutic appreciating art can be. I will be returning to the Carnegie Museum of Art in the very near future.

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