Through our social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we have been presenting Sight Loss Heroes to recognize those who have greatly impacted the world while living with low to no vision. This week, we recognized the legendary artist, Claude Monet.
His name is recognizable by most people alive today. A legendary artist, Monet was born in 1840 and helped start impressionist art with three other students and friends, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frederic Bazille who knew each other from painting class in France. Impressionist painters were ridiculed at first and it took 20 years before these artists were appreciated. He reached wide recognition for his work by 1907. This was also around the time he began to experience sight loss due to cataracts in both eyes. He continued to paint as his eyes got worse, not stopping until he was nearly blind. In his last decade, despite his sight loss, he finished a group of large water lily murals for the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris.
Monet Water Lillies, 1919
Claude Monet is today’s Sight Loss Hero for his beautiful rendition of life through painting, overcoming adversity with friends and other artists as a young man for a new style of art, and later for his vision loss. Monet shows us through Impressionism, that what we “see” is so much more than a literal picture. That we “see” with our eyes, but also through emotion and intuition. Monet’s paintings toward the end of his life showed that he continued to see, even as he lost his sight.
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