Monet and Rembrandt Comparison Essay

Monet and Rembrandt
Compares and contrasts the styles and philosophies of painters Rembrandt van Rijn and Claude Monet, based on their paintings.
# 26227 | 1,247 words | 0 sources | 2002 | US
Published on Apr 27, 2003 in Art (Artists) , Art (History) , Art (Painting)

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Claude Monet and Rembrandt van Rijn are fundamentally different in their approaches to painting. This paper explores Monet's fascination with water and Rembrandt's love of chiaroscuro (the interplay of light and shadow) as well as both painter's philosophies on time - Monet often denies the existence of time altogether, whereas Rembrandt often makes the use of time an important subject matter of his work. The paper analyzes two works by Rembrandt - "Madonna of the Cat" (1654) and "A Woman Wading in a Brook" (1654) to show his use of chiaroscuro and his philosophy on time. The paper also discusses works by Monet including "La Grenouillere" (1868) and "Camille on her Deathbed", which show his fascination with water and his belief in art about art, rather than about reality.

From the Paper:

"Rembrandt's concern with experience and reality is inherent his work. In his etching of 1654 of Madonna of the Cat, he shows a scene which is full of meaning, and thus time and experience. There is a paradox in the scene itself involving the interplay of light and shadow, which is quite often the case with Rembrandt's work. In the center of the etching, Mary is shown cradling Jesus in her arms. Traditionally, the pair is shown with a halo surrounding the fontanel. Rembrandt's etching seems to do this, although in actuality what appears to be a halo is simply sunlight filtering though the window. In this context, he places Mary and Jesus in shadow, instead of in the light, which one would expect in a Christian scene. He suggests a more Protestant view of experience, in which shadow becomes a metaphor for ambiguity, everyday experiences, and the placing of the divine on a more human level. He suggests his belief that God is dwelling on earth among the normal, everyday people, rather than in the brilliantly lit skies of Heaven. This in and of itself is opposite from what the Greeks believed in."

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