Here is a post about a couple of my favourite art works (including a couple of paintings and a monument). I studied environmental studies at University, although I also studied art history at high school and it is one of my favourite subjects. I enjoy learning about different artists and the culture from where artists are from and how they are inspired to create paintings and sculptures. The paintings I chose include the Water Lilies series by Claude Monet, a French Impressionist painter, and the Kiss by Gustav Klimt, an Austrian painter from Vienna, of la belle époque. The monument I chose is called the Winged Victory of Samothrace from the Louvre in Paris and the monument is noted to be from about 190 to 180 BC and to be made of Parian marble 🕊🌸
To Claude Monet, light was noted to be colour, and he spent quite a lot of his professional life trying to capture all of the luminous and atmospheric effects and nuances of light. As Monet’s career was progressing, his spectacular use of colour to help to transform and recreate atmospheres is understood to have made him one of the most well known and identifiable French Impressionist painters. Monet’s home at Giverny, from where he is noted to have painted the beautiful Nympheas, became a hub for artists.
Water Lilies is described as a spectacular climax to Monet’s professional career. Monet, with his lifetime of practice and technique, is noted to have painted the light in amazing subtlety and a mosaic of colours, where all tiny nuances and glimmers are captured and held. Morning, midday and evening are all described as being captured in Monet’s Water Lilies series, and the colours of Monet’s palette changed as subtly as the light changed, a cloud passed across the sky, or a wind changed the surface of the pond in his garden.
I love the Water Lilies paintings by Monet because of the gentleness of the colours and forms, the interest in light and colour, which helped to inspire Monet to paint the Water Lilies series, and the care with which he paints the water lilies, pond and garden. The use of colour in the Water Lilies paintings is so careful and beautiful and the flowers, water and garden are always in balance with one another, helping to illustrate how the light and colours in the garden and in nature are always changing.
The Kiss, (1907, 08)
Gustav Klimt’s home city was noted to be the fascinating turn of the century Vienna, of la belle époque. With about two million inhabitants, Vienna was understood to be the fourth largest city in Europe and had a cultural flowering, unparalleled elsewhere. Both artists and intellectuals were noted to develop enormous creativity as they explored both reality and illusion, and the traditional and the modern. Klimt’s central theme in his paintings is described as being the beauty of women, and he often painted Eve.
In Klimt’s painting the Kiss, new ground is noted to be broken, as the strong woman Klimt often painted in earlier paintings becomes soft and submissive as she yields herself to the main in the painting. Further, the woman is described to offer herself to the man in the painting and her sensuality shimmers through her gown, to help to escape the censorship about intimate embraces being taboo. The models for the painting are noted to be Klimt and his beloved Emilie Floge, in his arms.
I love the Kiss painting so much because of the gorgeous use of colour and shapes, including the different masculine and feminine shapes and colours on the man and woman’s clothing. I love the colours of the flowers and grass in the pretty and colourful garden underneath the man and woman, and the twinkly and glimmering gold quality included in all of the parts of the painting. The kiss and embrace between the man and the woman in the painting also feels so caring and tender and loving.
Winged Victory of Samothrace, (190 to 180 BC)
The majestic image of Nike, or ‘Victory,’ was noted to be founded in 1863, possibly on the first mission of the French archaeologist, Charles Champoiseau. The statue was located on the altar of the Great Gods on a small island called Samothrace, in the northern Aegean, and is understood to symbolise Victory descending from the skies and announcing the triumph of the Rhodian fleet over Antiochus III in 191 BC. Further, the event was described as being of great importance for the history of the eastern basin of the Mediterranean.
Further, the great monument in the Louvre, Paris, is noted to be the image dedicated to the Gods for the victory won at sea by the allies against Antiochus III. Similarly to archaic and classical Nikai, the goddess is described as being dressed in a thin and transparent chiton gown, blown close by to her body in the wind. A woolen himation (mantle) is also understood to drape her figure on one side, as it flutters behind her and wraps the right leg, which has already touched the ship.
I love the Winged Victory of Samothrace monument because of the beautiful and majestic and feminine shape of the monument, with the wings and feminine posture and beautiful flowing clothing around the body. The moment is noted be made of Parian marble and the Winged Victory of Samothrace monument appears to have been created with so much care and precision and careful attention to detail, including the folds of the clothing blowing in the wind and the feminine shape of the goddess Nike.
Do you love any of the art works too or are there any different art works or artists you love or are interested in?
Bachechi, L., Castellani, E., & Curti, F. (2007). The Louvre. Florence, Italy: SCALA Group.
Neret, G. (2007). Gustav Klimt. Germany: Taschen.
Sullivan, K. E. (1996). Discovering Art, Monet. Great Britain: Brockhampton Press.
Photos of the art works, found on Pinterest