“Everyone discusses my art
and pretends to understand,
as if it were necessary to understand,
when it is simply necessary to love.”
– CLAUDE MONET
Claude Monet by Bob Kessel, is breathtaking and catching the attention of art lovers worldwide. Bob Kessel takes off in his art series “Show Me The Monet!” on Monet’s many themes- Parliment, Haystacks, Water Lilies, Poplar Trees, Japanese Gardens and many more.
Monet almost never left Europe, thus never traveled to Japan. But in his Giverny home, he surrounded himself with Japanese woodblock prints. He first collected Japanese prints in the 1860s, and this passion would last for over three decades. At the end of his life, he owned 231 Japanese engravings.
Like many other artists, Monet considered Japanese culture as very artistic, shaped by the refined aesthetic tastes of its people. Many painters of the 19th Century were influenced by Japanese prints and paintings. As far as Monet is concerned, the way Japanese art shaped his style and the way he saw the world around him can be noticed in many of his canvases as early as the 1870s.
Who launched the frenzy for all things Japanese, called Japonism, in the 19th century ? It is hard to say, however, the universal exhibition of London in 1862 and of Paris in 1878 introduced Japanese art in Europe. Specialised merchants settled in Paris.
It was a upheaval. The artists of the Far East had a completely new aesthetic approach, marking a break with Western painting convention.
Monet, like many others, was carried away. He began collecting woodblocks by the greatest masters, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Utamaro… “Hiroshige is a wonderful impressionist, Camille Pissarro wrote to his son. “Me, Monet and Rodin are enthusiastic about them.”
The fancy for Japanese engravings seized also painters such as Vincent van Gogh, politician like Georges Clemenceau, writers like Edmond de Goncourt or Emile Zola.
HAY STACKS by Bob Kessel