Claude Monet’s Version of Deciphering Life

Monet Woman with UmbrellaAn exhibit of impressionistic paintings from the Paris Musée D’Orsay opened to members  today at the Kimball Art Gallery, Fort Worth, TX,  in the new Piano Pavillion.  The exhibit, “The Faces of Impressionism”  runs through January 25, 2015.

In 1997, I went to Paris to visit my daughter who was working there for ten months doing an internship for her Masters in International Business.  In ten days, she swept me through a spectacular overview of Paris.  We literally ran from one thing to another to take in all she wanted me to see.

There were many highlights, but one of the brightest was The Musée D’Orsay.  Impressionistic art entrances me more than any other art. The beauty, the character, the unique usage of the brush, the colors, the shadowy, spectral aspect to the paintings make them more alive, in some ways, than more realistic art.  I must admit my memory’s eye of the museum sees more landscapes than faces.  Somehow, in spite of the title of this exhibit, I was expecting to see some of my beloved landscapes.  Instead, I was enamored by the faces I saw today.

I find the painting above to be the most entrancing of the exhibit:  Woman with an Umbrella Turned to the Right by Claude Monet, 1886.   The story behind the painting captures my sentiments with the grief Monet expressed.  His wife, Camille, died of cancer in 1875.  He had painted her standing on a mound in a white dress.  One day at Giverny, Monet caught a glimpse of Suzanne, his partner’s daughter, looking exactly like his deceased wife.  He directed Suzanne to return the next day to model for him.  Suzanne suffered dizziness while posing, yet the result is this exquisite piece.  The face, being obscured, represents an apparition of Camille as well as Suzanne’s vertigo.  Without definition, beauty reigns, and the grip of grief felt.


About 9awalsh

A genealogist and writer who has uncovered legacy stories which must be told. I also write a blog, Deciphering Life, trying to figure out why life becomes so tangled --
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