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Category: Claude Monet

on art, its purpose


                                Poet With Flower (2008)

                                          Stefan Caltia


wherefore art, I’ve long and often wondered,
with only a wink to Juliet’s Romeo, for my
question dug deeper, why, indeed, itself art

we build our souls on the stories we’ve 
heard, the impressions we’ve received
from voices that spoke directly to our 
senses, painters with paint, musicians
with music, writers with words, poets 
with poems

it started with fairy tales, which told of
right and wrong, good and bad, courage,
kindness, responsibility, and dire 
consequences for discord

Biblical stories also took up a lot of my own
childhood, Jesus, Adam and Eve, Moses
and the Ten Commandments, this last 
reinforced by Cecil B. DeMille’s epic

but soon enough it was Oliver TwistLittle
Nell, and by an inescapable authorial leap, 
since these were all by an irresistible 
Charles Dickens for a guy my age, Sydney
Carton, who valiantly stands in for his
friend, Charles Darnay, at the guillotine, a 
quantum, even existential, leap from 
Peter Pan and Mary Poppins 

though I had the good fortune to learn to 
read and write music as a boy, play music, 
learn about Bach, Brahms and Beethoven, 
it didn’t take anyone else much more than
their enthusiasm to see what the Beatles
were similarly doing, the Rolling Stones, 
the Supremes, they were not only singing, 
but making history, shaping it, and us, we 
followed the questions they rose, their 
responses, the effects upon ourselves
for nothing is considered until it’s 
mentioned, spoken, made clear, and they
were those prophets

the same goes for art, we see as we see
cause Monet, Picasso, Warhol showed 
us how to see, what to look at

and of course poets, Shakespeare, 
RostandDanteGoethe, to inform, each,
their individual language, and culture

I have been Philip CareyScarlett O’Hara, 
Blanche DuboisGary Cooper in High
Noon“, both Martha and George in 
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf“, lately 
I’ve been even Hank Williams

as Babette would say, a French doll who 
gets abducted in Raggedy Ann and Andy:
A Musical Misadventure“, an animated 
movie from the Seventies, – oo aahrr yoo 


psst: all of them have been me too,


a rumination on rain‏


                                                 Spring Rain 
                                        Erte (Romain de Tirtoff)
since last November the days have 
been short, and have not hastened 
since winter to be longer, not 
helped either by the most recent 
time change, more than anything 
a biannual irritant  
nor has the rain stopped, apart from 
a few clement days, its persistent,
often pounding, onslaught
that’s me, above, expressing my 
as usual, in distress, I turned to art 
to see, or hear, what others might 
have to say about my current 
dilemma, my chagrin du jour, if you 
like, in this instance, the Erte on rain 
took the sting out of the raindrops
others had inspired, a Gauguin,
unexpectedly grey, but haunting,
a Monet, of course, equally sombre, 
who painted in all weathers
Constable, uncharacteristically 
angry, was looking a lot like 
Turner, but more direct, accessible,
less oracular, more matter-of-fact, 
sensible, reading only the weather 
in the weather
Winston Churchill, of all people, 
gives us, incidentally, something 
in between
especially to my sense of poetry 
among the artworks I perused, 
someone I’ll have to further, for his 
tender homage to perhaps other 
colours than orange, explore
to me unknown, does a similar thing
in, essentially, a monochrome, with 
a fine mist standing in for ethereality
Miró is ever up to his old tricks, 
find it  
but Erte catches best of all my desire
for irony, sardonicism, self-criticism
in music I couldn’t think of anything 
other than Beethoven’s Der Sturm
to temper the weather, despite the 
fact that rain hadn’t been ever his 
inspiration, the title came from his 
publisher to increase sales, 
Beethoven wrote pure music, 
abstract, never specifically literally 
to describe, what is called program
music, his descriptions, his 
evocations, came unadulterated,
untransliterated, from the heart 
in literature nothing beats Somerset 
Maugham’s short story, Rain“, 
masterpiece of intrigue as well as 
literary prowess, searing substance 
married to superb style
the book was duly made into film,
and several times, with Gloria 
Swanson in 1928, Joan Crawford 
in 1932, and Rita Hayworth in 1953
none of these slouches
the clouds have now coincidentally
dispersed, the metaphorical ones, 
not so surprisingly, have been 
meanwhile displaced by my retreat 
into art, a recourse I’ve found to be 
always dependable, and, yet again, 
in this otherwise grim environment,
diverting and trustworthily inspiring
I wish you consequently, also, for 
similar reasons, art, a salve along 
life’s often obstreperous journey 

June, 2015‏

 "Fields in the Month of June" - Charles-François Daubigny

Fields in the Month of June (1874)

Charles-François Daubigny


there were no poems not tawdry
about the month of June when I
looked, I read of the moon a lot,
of blossoms everywhere blooming,
troubadours crooning, couples
spooning, ubiquitously and
indiscriminately, none enough to
warrant my further attention

but this lyric, serendipitously,
finally, touched on what I thought
June might bring up

June, it said, is busting out all
, to corroborate, just click

incidentally, Monet, a year earlier,
1873, had painted his Wild
Poppies, near Argenteuil
, the
month of June in his conception
being addressed here perhaps
merely peripherally

but it seems Daubigny and Monet
must’ve known each other

again just click


Visconti’s Death in Venice‏

  William Turner -  "Venice Looking East from the Guidecca, Sunrise" (1819)

Venice Looking East from the Guidecca, Sunrise (1819)

William Turner


Death in Venice is perhaps the most
beautiful film I’ve ever seen, just click

Visconti suffuses his masterpiece with
all the colours and textures of Monet,
Renoir, Seurat, Toulouse-Lautrec, and
a host of other Impressionists, and
settles them all upon, nearly inevitably,
the splendours of a Canaletto Venice

Dirk Bogarde has never been better,
his von Aschenbach is definitive,
Silvana Mangano is every single inch
an aristocrat, the epitome of poise,
elegance and propriety, Tadzio is
throughout the very incarnation of a

all is given stately motion by the art
of film and made thereby into another
equal and haunting form of poetry

enjoy, marvel


psst: Visconti even makes Mahler sound

as does Leonard Bernstein, incidentally,
in the accompanying clip, who is
manifestly transported throughout his
evidently otherworldly experience,
just as you might even be, just click

art in evolution‏ – from Monet to Wolf Kahn

Brain writes

“I would never have guessed that Wolf Kahn was a student of Hoffman. Yet you can see the influence in the colour choice and lack of detail. It somehow reminds me of impressionism. The child of Hoffman and Monet. Especially the painting “Subtle Pink, 2000″. It reminds me of Monet’s painting series “Poplars”.

For the record, I prefer Kahn over Hoffman.”

Wolf Kahn "Subtle Pink" (2000)

Subtle Pink (2000)

Wolf Kahn


Claude Monet "Poplars at Giverny"

Poplars at Giverny” (1887)

Claude Monet


I would also compare his “Orange Cloud Over the Adriatic Sea

Wolf Kahn - "Orange Cloud Over the Adriatic Sea" (1996)

Orange Cloud Over the Adriatic Sea (1996)

Wolf Kahn


to Monet‘s Impression, Sunrise

Claude Monet - "Impression, Sunrise"

Impression, Sunrise (1873)

Claude Monet


what do you think


psst: art, like novels, has its templates