Claude Monet: Greatest of the Impressionists
Born today was Claude Monet
Who scenes portrayed in light of day.
He showed how colors interplay
And how the sun melts shapes away.
"What fascinates Monet in "Woman with a Parasol...is not the identities of the models, but the way the light and breeze are held upon the canvas for our perpetual delectation. One summer's day a young woman stood on a small rise in the ground, grass and flowers hiding all sight of her feet. She seems to have floated here, borne along by her dappled sunshade, radiant in the sheer brightness of the hour. Her dress is alive with reflected hues, gleaming gold or blue or palest pink. The colors never settle down, any more than do her pleats and folds, which swirl against the glitter of the clouds and the intense blue sky. Monet saw this, held it still, and made it pictorially accessible to our eyes. We look up over the variegated grass with its luminous shadows, and we are dazzled." [Sister Wendy Beckett, "Sister Wendy's Story of Painting"]