Paris, Musée Marmottan Monet


It is well known that Monet suffered from cataracts as he got older, just as El Greco had astigmatism and Beethoven had deafness. This exhibition highlights how Monet's worsening eyesight affected his painterly approach. Accompanying his paintings of the water lilies and the Japanese bridge at Giverny are computer simulations, constructed thanks to historical and medical knowledge, that illustrate what Monet probably saw. Around 60 paintings from throughout Monet's career are included in the show, including his variations of the Houses of Parliament in London and Rouen Cathedral, along with other masterpieces such as "En Norvégienne" of three girls boating in a river.

Monet (1840-1926) was diagnosed with cataracts at the age of 72. Afraid that surgery might blind or further alter his perception of colors, he refused surgery for decade. During that interim period, he claimed that colors no longer had the same intensity and struggled to distinguish them, and arranged his palette according to the labels on the tubes of paint. After finally having surgery, which was performed successfully, Monet initially complained that everything appeared too yellow or too blue. But he slowly regained confidence and focused on his water lily canvases until he died.

October 16, 2008, through to February 15, 2009
2, rue Louis-Boilly
75016 Paris
T. +33 (0)1 44 96 50 33