The waterlilies of Claude Monet

Yesterday I saw the new film, The Waterlilies of Monet, at the Odeon theater in Florence.  I didn’t know much about the film, just that it featured Monet and his waterlily paintings.  That was enough to get me there.  I’m happy I saw it.

The film is a bit strange, part mystical, part historical.  I don’t think it will have wide appeal, but it appealed to me.  Here’s info from the press release, in first Italian and then a rough translation. And the film’s trailer.

Milano – Per soli tre giorni, il 26, 27 e 28 novembre, in esclusiva nei cinema LE NINFEE DI MONET. UN INCANTESIMO DI ACQUA E DI LUCE. Un percorso, narrato da Elisa Lasowski de Il trono di spade, che ci porta alla scoperta del più grande progetto pittorico di Claude Monet: le Grandes Décorations, le ninfee.

For just three days, on November 26th, 27th and 28th, exclusively at MONET’s WATERLILIES cinemas. A SPELL OF WATER AND LIGHT. A journey, narrated by Elisa Lasowski of The Game of Thrones, leads us on a discovery of Claude Monet’s greatest pictorial project: the Grandes Décorations, the water lilies.


Il film, prodotto da Ballandi Arts e Nexo Digital, condurrà il pubblico a Parigi, tra il Musée Marmottan, il Musée de l’Orangerie e il Musée D’Orsay, a Giverny con la Fondation Monet, la casa e il giardino dell’artista, e tra i magnifici panorami di Étretat. A guidare gli spettatori alla scoperta dei luoghi, delle opere e delle vicende del maestro, ci sarà Elisa Lasowski, attrice ne Il Trono di Spade, mentre la consulenza scientifica sarà affidata allo storico e scrittore Ross King, autore del best seller Il mistero delle ninfee. Monet e la rivoluzione della pittura moderna, edito in Italia da Rizzoli.


The film, produced by Ballandi Arts and Nexo Digital, takes the public from  Paris, between the Musée Marmottan, the Musée de l’Orangerie and the Musée D’Orsay, to Giverny with the Fondation Monet, the artist’s house and garden, and shows the magnificent views of Étretat. Guiding the audience’s discovery of the places, works and events of the master, is Elisa Lasowski, actress in The Game of Thrones, while the scientific advice will be entrusted to the historian and writer Ross King, author of the best seller The mystery of water lilies; Monet and the revolution of modern painting, published in Italy by Rizzoli.

Il grande progetto di Monet
Seguendo il percorso della Senna, il film prende le mosse da Le Havre, dove Monet trascorre il primo periodo della sua vita artistica, e risale il fiume verso gli altri paesi dove ha dimorato: Poissy, Argenteuil, Vétheuil, e infine Giverny. Qui, a 70 anni di età e ormai quasi cieco a causa della cataratta, mentre piovono le bombe della Prima Guerra Mondiale, Monet concepisce il progetto di dipinti di enormi dimensioni, nei quali lo spettatore possa immergersi completamente. Il soggetto, le sue amate nymphéas. Dopo dieci anni, nel Musée de l’Orangerie di Parigi, la sua speranza trova finalmente il giusto compimento, nelle magnifiche sale ovali da lui stesso disegnate. Nel maggio del 1927, l’amico George Clemenceau inaugura finalmente il museo dedicato alla Grand Décoration.

The great project by Monet
Following the route of the Seine, the film starts from Le Havre, where Monet spends the first period of his artistic life, and goes up the river to the other areas where he lived: Poissy, Argenteuil, Vétheuil, and finally Giverny. Here, at 70 years of age and now almost blind because of the cataract, while the bombs of the First World War are raining down, Monet conceives the project of paintings of enormous dimensions, in which the viewer can immerse himself completely. The subject, his beloved waterlilies. After ten years, in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, his paintings find superb fulfillment, in the magnificent oval rooms he himself designed. In May 1927, his friend George Clemenceau finally inaugurated the museum dedicated to Grand Décoration.

The streets of Monaco on the day of Grace Kelly’s wedding, 1956

  • Grace Kelly and Ranieri of Monaco's wedding. Streets of the Principality

RCT-F-051374-0000

Grace Kelly and Ranieri of Monaco’s wedding. Streets of the Principality

Mandatory photo credit:

Toscani Archive/Alinari Archives Management, Florence

WARNING:

Permission must be required for non editorial use. Please contact Alinari Archives

Photographer:

Toscani, Fedele

Image date:

1956

Place of photography

Monaco

Collection:

Toscani Archive/Alinari Archives Management, Florence

Grace Kelly and Ranieri of Monaco's wedding

RCT-F-051293-0000

Grace Kelly and Ranieri of Monaco’s wedding

Mandatory photo credit:

Toscani Archive/Alinari Archives Management, Florence

WARNING:

Permission must be required for non editorial use. Please contact Alinari Archives

Photographer:

Toscani, Fedele

Image date:

1956

Place of photography

Monaco

Collection:

Toscani Archive/Alinari Archives Management, Florence

Grace Kelly and Ranieri of Monaco at their wedding

RCT-F-051283-0000

Grace Kelly and Ranieri of Monaco at their wedding

Mandatory photo credit:

Toscani Archive/Alinari Archives Management, Florence

WARNING:

Permission must be required for non editorial use. Please contact Alinari Archives

Photographer:

Toscani, Fedele

Image date:

1956

Place of photography

Monaco

Collection:Toscani Archive/Alinari Archives Management

Grace Kelly and Ranieri di Monaco at their wedding

RCT-F-051281-0000

Grace Kelly and Ranieri di Monaco at their wedding

Mandatory photo credit:

Toscani Archive/Alinari Archives Management, Florence

WARNING:

Permission must be required for non editorial use. Please contact Alinari Archives

Photographer:

Toscani, Fedele

Image date:

1956

Place of photography

Monaco

Collection:

Toscani Archive/Alinari Archives Management, Florence

 

 

How the French eat

As the writer Alice B. Toklas said, the French bring to the table “the same appreciation, respect, intelligence and lively interest that they have for the other arts, for painting, for literature and for the theatre.” This history of thoughtfully prepared meals and passion for terroir, the combination of earth and climate that distinguishes a wine, has made Paris an ideal place to practice the art of savoring.

Rosenbloom, Stephanie. Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude (p. 40). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The case for time alone, with art

[The painter] Delacroix [was] himself a proponent of alone time. (His former apartment and studio on the beautiful Place de Furstenberg is a museum as well.)

self-portrait-c-1840-oil-on-canvas-see-also-162137

“How can one keep one’s enthusiasm concentrated on a subject when one is always at the mercy of other people and in constant need of their society?” he wondered in his journal. “The things we experience for ourselves when we are alone are much stronger and much fresher.”

Research suggests this is true. One study, part of a project supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, found that visitors who attended an exhibition at a fine-art museum with other people found it significantly less thought-provoking, were less convinced by the exhibition design, and were less able to enjoy the museum space in silence than those who toured the museum alone.

Those who went with companions experienced the beauty of the artworks to a lesser extent, and were less able to experience a deep connection to the art. For the study, more than five hundred and fifty visitors to the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen in Switzerland were given an electronic data glove to wear as they toured the museum. The glove enabled the researchers to record the paths of the participants, as well as other information, including the time they spent in front of the artworks, their speed, heart rate, and fluctuations in skin conductance level, a potential indicator of emotional processes.

The subjects also filled out visitor surveys before entering the exhibition and after leaving it.

The study, published in the journal Museum Management and Curatorship, found that conversation interfered with visitors’ making a connection to the art. People who weren’t discussing the art with a companion were more frequently and more strongly emotionally stimulated by it. They were able to “enter the exhibition with ‘all of their senses open and alert’ to a greater degree.”

When I go to a museum with friends, I remember the outing. When I go alone, I remember the art.

Certainly, visiting a museum as a social occasion is a wonderful way to spend time with people we love. But there are also upsides to going by oneself, as the research suggests.

A person’s response to a work of art may be an emotional, private experience. There are paintings and sculptures you want to fall into, wrestle with, or simply sit across from in silence.

Indeed, while conventional wisdom holds that social interaction helps museum visitors learn by discussing what they’re seeing with fellow attendees, a study published in Curator: The Museum Journal, challenged that notion, showing that there is no meaningful learning advantage to going with others or going alone; both can be equally beneficial, just in different ways.

In the weeks after their visit, “solitary visitors were just as likely as paired visitors to have discussed the things they had seen or learned with family or friends,” researchers at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, reported. For the study some forty solo visitors and forty visitors in pairs were observed and interviewed duringtheir visit to the Queensland Museum.

Four weeks later, 40 percent of participants took part in a follow-up telephone interview. When asked how being on their own contributed to their experience, the most common response was that it allowed them to explore the exhibition at their own pace.

Other reasons offered related to having greater choice and control, and freedom from distraction. Participants had responses like “I can look at what I want to look at,” “I can get more immersed in it,” “I can feel what I feel without input from others,” and “You miss more when you are in a group.”

Rosenbloom, Stephanie. Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude, Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.