Since the dawn of time, man has been inspired by the beauty of art. The Macquarie Concise Dictionary describes art as “the production or expression of what is beautiful, appealing or of more than ordinary significance”. I interpret the word art to refer to the physical reproduction of the artists own perception of the world around them.
A masterpiece is defined as “a consummate example of skill or excellence”. Therefore, when in search of a masterpiece of the artistic category, we must take into account the proficiency and dexterity displayed by the artist. With these basic principles in mind, it is my belief that one cannot surpass Monet’s series entitled “Waterlilies” and more specifically the painting “Green Reflections”.
I have adored the “Waterlilies” series for a number of years. It was its originality that first appealed to me. “Green Reflections” is my favourite due mainly to the use of the green colour to indicate darkness of the water. The painting seems busy, yet not overpoweringly so. There is much for the eye, while allowing room for personal interpretation.
Visually appealing, “Green Reflections” is a classic example of Monet’s personal style, being both scientific and painterly. This particular painting has captivated many admirers with its pretty pastel colours, prevalent in many of Monet’s works. The yellows and pinks of the lilies are in strong contrast to the deep blues and jungle greens of the water.
Monet brought the study of the transient effects of natural light to its most refined expression, through the “Waterlilies” series. Therefore tone is an important aspect of the painting. It is used with great success, giving the appearance of shade on the right hand side. The tone also gives the impression of water reflections.
The “Waterlilies” series was a number of paintings of the same lily pond. The defining characteristic of “Green Reflections” is that it was the only one of the group painted at night. Monet’s fascination with light and colour was the fuel behind this concept.
Being an impressionist painter, very little of his works used line and shape. “Green Reflections” is no exception. Irregular patterns are prominent with little regard for structure and realism.
The only way Monet could capture his version of “the truth of the moment” was through ‘lying’. Monet’s method made accommodations to his underlying philosophy of instantaneity and attention to decorative elements. Monet attempted to reconcile the idea of capturing a moment and his supposition that all moments must contain absolute truth through the use of a harmony of colours.