Water Lilies by Claude Monet and Lotus by Chang Dai-chien
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Nymphaeas, an aquatic flowering herb, has been a popular theme in literature, mythology and fine arts throughout history. It bore various symbols in many ancient cultures and have been deciphered by different artists in their own ways. In this essay two paintings of such will be evaluated: Water Lilies by Claude Monet (1840-1926) and Lotus by Chang Dai-chien (1901-1984).
Water Lilies, painted by French impressionist painter Claude Monet, is a collection of approximately 250 oil paintings of Monet's water-lily pond in Giverny, France. The artwork was composed of light vertical strokes and patches of bright colours, giving a grand perspective of scattered blossoms of water-lilies with a shimmer of light lingering with reflections from above. Lotus, on the other hand, is a water-ink masterpiece by Chinese impressionist painter Chang Dai-chien. In the painting a close-up view of the flower was illustrated, contrasting with patterns of splashed water-ink resembling leaves in the background.
Reflecting ideas of impressionism, both works were painted in touches of pure colours that emphasised on the artists' intuitions rather than reflecting reality. To achieve so, both pieces were constructed with an unseen light source from the top of the painting, allowing increased tonal contrast and luminosity while minimising half-tones as the shadows would appear as outlines of the subject. Evidence of such can be observed in the wide leaves: Monet painted ovals strokes of colours to illustrate lily pads, while Chang splashed patches turquoise water-ink amongst lines of leaf-stems. Little hue transitions were involved, as most colours came in discrete patches.
As to bring out the blossoms as the subject of painting, both masterpieces used ...
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...n the flowers. I admire both of their masterpieces greatly and I believe that they are both very beautiful in their own rights.
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