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The artist's biography
Nymphéas by Monet.
“I paint like a bird sings”, Monet once told his friend Geffroy. His ingenuous phrase reveals the spontaneity of his creative hand and the authenticity of his artistic calling. And yet this “naïve” song of his revolutionized the course of modern painting, making a clean break between what used to be painted before his time and what was to be painted afterwards.
Rather than painting what we know about the world, Monet preferred to depict what we actually see in as realistic a manner as possible. To that end, he developed a style in which each stroke of the brush stands apart from the others with no transition between them. Monet’s paintings portray an impression of the fleeting moment we experience when communing directly with nature. They glorify colour, which bursts forth on the canvas in a myriad of rapid, fragmentary strokes, flooding it with a triumphant luminosity that colours even the shadows.
Monet was the first to achieve such an instinctive harmony between reality as we observe it and its lyrical transfiguration, the foundations of impressionism.
From “Regards sur la peinture” - Monet 1988.