The Water Lilies Artwork Had Me Stop In My Tracks

The Water Lilies Artwork Had Me Stop In My Tracks

What is your favorite art piece?

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It was just another gloomy morning as I grabbed my wallet, zipped up my fitted jacket, and headed out the door, rushing to get to my favorite coffee store around the block. As I walked into the cozy yet lively cafe filled with the aroma of fresh coffee beans, my eyes wandered towards an enormous, familiar looking painting.

I felt immersed in the waters of the canvas, surrounded by vibrant, delicate water lilies that sat on the surface of the lake like colorful sprinkles on a cake. It took me a minute to realize that I was staring at one of the many artworks from a collection called "Water Lilies" by the great Monet himself.

The painting is unique, as each fragile lily hovering over the water is portrayed as a blurred spot of color; this contrasts with artwork that heavily focuses on accurately depicting an object's true form and weight. Knowing that this was just another replica, I pondered how such an abstract composition of water lilies captivated the attention of billions of brilliant artists since the 1900s who have become as deeply absorbed in the painting as I had been.

While taking one last look at the extraordinary work of art before parting ways, I realized that simplicity doesn't make an artwork less mesmerizing; It is the technique behind it that truly matters. As Monet reduced the use of unessential components and created an emphasis on color and light in his water lilies, he also paved the road to a new form of art known as Impressionism.

Now, whenever I start a fresh painting, I close my eyes and remember how Monet's water lilies forever changed my perspective on abstract art; It made me realize that there is beauty in simplicity, a concept I applied to my later artworks.

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A Revival: Greek And Roman Impact On The Renaissance

How Renaissance artists departed from the Gothic style
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Just as the Romans were often known as Greek imitators, the artists of the Renaissance took a big interest in ancient Greek and Roman art. Therefore, the Renaissance came to be known as an era of revival, one in which the influence of Greek and Roman art was seen in both art and architecture. Pieces such as the Palazzo Rucellai, David, and Birth of Venus are all noted for being composed of both Greek and Roman elements and styles.

The Palazzo Rucellai stands as a landmark Renaissance palace, designed in 1446 by well-known Italian architects Leon Battista Alberti and Bernardo Rossellino. The humanistic influence of the 15th century is noted in its composition, but most importantly, the structural elements of ancient Rome are incorporated within the structure. The Roman-like arches, pilasters, and entablatures give the impression of strength. The pilasters are composed of Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders which are reminiscent of the Colosseum. Just as the pilasters of the Colosseum are used for a decorative purpose, the ones of the Palazzo Rucellai also depart from simply providing structural support.

The David sculpture was created by the notorious Donatello. Donatello was known for his studies of Greek and Roman art, which allowed for him to make a connection between the classical world and the Renaissance. The Greek formula for contrapposto is noted in this sculpture, as his weight appears to be mostly on the right foot while the left leg seems to be more relaxed. The Greek influence is also demonstrated as David is fully nude, which departs from the clothed Biblical figures of the Gothic era and instead resonates Greek conventions. Just as the Greek Kritios Boy is described as “the first beautiful nude in art,” the bronze David was the first freestanding nude of the Renaissance.

The Birth of Venus, created by Sandro Botticelli, also appears to carry Greek and Roman influences into the Renaissance era in which it was constructed. Just like the Roman marble Aphrodite of Menophantos, the Birth of Venus employs the Capitoline Venus pose in which Venus covers her breasts with her right arm and her groin with her left arm. An obvious allusion to Roman art is the use of the Roman goddess Venus as the subject of the painting. The use of classical subject matter is strategical as it appeals to the rich Florentines who patronized such pieces.

The Renaissance is known as the “rebirth” or “revival” of Greek and Roman styles and conventions. Such Greek and Roman influences are well noted in the Italian-made pieces such as The Palazzo Rucellai, which can be compared to the Colosseum, David, which can be compared to the Kritios Boy, and The Birth of Venus, which can be compared to the Aphrodite of Menophantos. It is this revival that is credited with helping European artists and architects depart from Gothic styles, among others, while bringing back notorious Greek and Roman ones.

Cover Image Credit: Artble

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An Imperfect Relationship: A Poem

Opposites attract.

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It's not complicated; our heads are one.

Your hand is a snake.

My hand is a flower.

I embrace your hand in mine.

Wanting to accept, you push them away; hesitant.

Some say we're not perfect.

But I think we are.

We're free of conformity,

We think differently

From those whose souls

Are fixed on this idea

Of a perfect relationship:

That two partners must share similarities

But we are the opposite

And I love that.

My body is ecstatic with you.

Your name is forgotten,

But that doesn't matter.

Morning thoughts like these

As I roll over

And see your angelic face; dreaming.

In the life before this one, I dreamt, too.

Some days I was falling.

Falling out of the sky after a heartbreak,

Falling out of love, never in it,

Until I met you.

Some days I kept focus

On the dim light at the end of the tunnel,

On time before it runs out.

Now I focus on you, of course.

On what could be our life together.

Because in the past, I was not happier.

Surrounded by betrayals and lies,

I had to leave; fly away.

So I grew wings.

I soared until I found you

And I never came back.

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