Claude Monet: Beyond the Painter that Defined the Artistic Movement of Impressionism

Published: 2021-09-29 08:35:06
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Category: Actors

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He was an old, wise looking man who stared up into the camera with a look of dignity. The first thing I noticed was his long, silver beard that looked to be full of secrets. This man was planted into my history book, and we seemed to be having a staring contest as my teacher aimlessly tried to lecture me and my fellow classmates. After only a few minutes, I finally decided to let the strange looking man win, and began to peer out from my book. My eyes were unwillingly directed to a large, gleaming canvas that my teacher held high above her head in an important, even proud, way. At first glance, my boredom suddenly turned to a sparkling curiosity. The canvas was filled with a beautiful array of lavenders, creams, and sunlight. It was like all the colors, scents, and sounds of springtime had melted onto this one image. I could see the bright and lively flowers, feel the warm sunshine, and even listen to the glistening river simply by looking at it! It all seemed so much greater than anything I had seen before.As I was immersing my senses, I noticed the soft, blurred brush strokes that somehow came together to form a beautiful landscape. It was magical. I couldn’t possibly understand how one could create something as beautiful and complex as what was right in front of me. Who did create it anyway? Was this place really as beautiful in person? As I was pondering over many thoughts similar to these, my teacher declared the words, “Claude Monet,” in a rather large and dignified manner. Immediately, we were directed back to our history book, where I again saw the strange man staring up at me. “This man,” my teacher explained, “is the artist behind this painting.”
Although I was intrigued, the way she continued to explain who he was could not keep my attention span. I did not care to know about tedious styles and genres of the art world. What I wanted to know were not what these unfamiliar words like “impressionism” or “plein air” meant, but the person behind the words! Who was this “Claude Monet?” What was his life like? Is he even aware of his presence in my history book? The amount of talent and curiosity he exerted was something I could only dream about! The rest of my classes seemed to go faster than usual, for all I could concentrate on were the millions of questions running through my head.
At the end of each school day, I routinely pleaded my mom to arrive late, so that I may play with my friends after school. This was something I looked forward to from the second I stepped into the classroom. However, today was different. Today, I needed to visit the library; a place I previously would never have desired to be. After what seemed like a slow, adventure-like car ride, I swiftly walked into the library with much anticipation, almost tripping over myself. I rummaged through hundreds of books located under the “Biographies” sign, finding none of them to my interest other than what I discovered on the mysterious Claude Monet. After starting at the piles of books dangling over my small arms, I chose a larger sized book with a shining cover. It was entitled “Monet: A Feast for the Eyes.” From the moment I opened it, I navigated through each page with an eagerness to read the next one after it. I learned about each series of Monet’s artwork, and was astonished to find out that his most famous pieces were created while he was going blind. By then end of reading this book, I did not only fill a desire to learn, but discovered an interest more widespread than Claude Monet himself. This interest is in reading about influential, powerful, or simply intriguing people.
Claude Monet’s artwork turned into the beginning of my desire to read, as well as the type of reading I enjoy. From the artistically gifted Claude Monet, to the inspiring World War II martyr Dietrich Bonhoffeur, I am able to stay intrigued in a book when it has real-life meanings and inspiration for greatness. Today, my favorite books will be nonfiction stories and biographies written with a narrative style. Narrative writing keeps books based on facts, time periods, and names, interesting. In particular, I enjoyed reading “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” as summer reading for TCU. Learning about Henrietta and the influence she has on science was intriguing. Likewise, all the science explained in this book would not have been interesting had it not been written in a narrative style. Because it is narrative nonfiction, it engages readers much more than a book with charts and facts would. This particular type of literature is what helps me grow as a reader.
As I read more nonfiction books, I realize how important it is to recognize biases. Every author has some sort of bias, and it is the job of the reader to identify it. This realization helped me develop what kind of reader I am. In relation, Chinua Achebe illustrates in his book, “Things Fall Apart,” the feelings that the tribes of Nigeria had when the Christian’s came to “pacify” them. He successfully illustrates the negativity they felt towards the Christians, and how these tribes are not as primitive as the Western world seems to think. Although this book gives a different perspective than most, the author only illustrates that one, specific perspective. When reading nonfiction books, it is important to recognize that there is a bias. Now, when reading a book, I tend to analyze the information, identify the bias, and enjoy forming my own opinion about it.
By reading a biography on the intriguing Claude Monet, I found an interest in reading stories on all sorts of people and cultures. My desire to read what I enjoy developed, as well as how I read it. I not only read about well-known people, but about historical events and modern day cultures. Although reading these types of books teaches one a lot about other cultures, being able to analyzing the information given is even more important. Without analyzing a book to form a personal opinion, one would believe everything handed to them on paper. Reading nonfiction stories and biographies taught me this. Ultimately, what made me a reader as well as what kind of reader I am developed from a desire to learn about something that I saw was “greater” or more profound than what I had been accustomed to.

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