18 Mar 2020
“#MuseumMomentofZen hopefully breaks up the anxiety of days spent scrolling through newsfeeds that read like harbingers of the end times. After all, when it’s not being politicized, commodified, or appropriated, art can revert to its fundamental purpose: to help us make sense or find hope as we struggle through life on this bewildering and embattled planet“, wrote Hyperallergic. So here’s a #MuseumMomentofZen that hopefully brings a little piece to your timeline.
Claude Monet’s oeuvre spans a period of some seventy years. The painting The Footbridge over the Water-Lily Pond is one of his late works, a period in which the artist concentrated exclusively on motifs in his garden in Giverny, where he lived with his family from 1883 until his death. Little by little, he enlarged and transformed his property, reshaping it according to his own ideas. He created a pond and constructed a Japanese bridge, the design of which was probably inspired by a Japanese woodcut.
The sprawling blossoms above the bridge are an important element of the composition. It is echoed, in somewhat cooler hues, by the vegetation growing over the railings of the bridge and is also reflected in the water below. Monet flanks the scene with lush vegetation on both sides, the longish leaves on the right suggesting the presence of a weeping willow. While the brushwork is still figurative, it is becoming freer, giving rise to an almost entirely abstract color space. The canvases painted around 1920 are among the most daring in Monet’s oeuvre. The late garden paintings attracted little attention during the artist’s lifetime. After World War II, however, Monet’s late works were a source of inspiration to a young generation of abstract artists.
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