Art History

Fun Fact Friday: Monet’s Color Shift

In honor of Claude Monet’s birthday earlier this week (November 14th), I thought it would be a good time to share a little bit more about him.  

As Monet got older he began to develop issues with his eyes.  Around age 65 (1905) he began experience changes in his perception of color.  Colors started to be less intense and more muddy.  The changes in his perception of color were able to be seen in his paintings.  During this time period there was a shift from greens and blues to muddier yellows and purples.  At the age of 72 (1912) Monet experienced nuclear cataracts in both eyes and his paintings became more abstract and more yellows were visible. 

A difference can be seen in his different Nympheas/Waterlilies paintings.  This link shows several paintings during the time period where his eyesight began to decline.  If you start at the bottom of the page and scroll up you can see a shift from blues and greens to yellows and purples.  You can also see where the paintings become a little bit more abstract.

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