Through students' eyes - The Rouen Cathedral series by Monet

There were quite a few outstanding assignments about Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. The best ones will be shared here. Enjoy. 

Patrik Boros (8/a) reflected on a series of paintings by Claude Monet.

Monet: Rouen Cathedral Series

Claude Monet was born in Paris in 1840. He was an Impressionist. His Series Paintings, in which he created many views of the same thing under different lighting conditions, are an attempt to illustrate the importance of light in our perception of a subject at a given time and place. The cathedral series was not Monet's first series of artworks of a single subject, but it was his most exhaustive. Monet rented spaces across the street from the cathedral, where he set up temporary studios for the purpose. He used the technique of plein air. In Impressionism lines are not important. When you watch a painting from close, you just see smudges, spots that don’t make any sense, but when you move away, you’ll perceive the main theme. There are just brushstrokes everywhere but they are deliberate movements of an intelligent hand... The paintings were painted with oil on canvas. The artist used vivid colours and thick layers of paint, when he painted these paintings. He used highly textured brushstrokes. In the paintings we can see the massive and big church that changes from the light. There are mostly geometrical shapes in the artworks.

I didn’t know anything about these paintings so they were totally unfamiliar to me. When I look at these artworks I become inspired to do something great, because we think life is like the massive church, but it can change fast too, like the lights. Life is short. Every period has something interesting that must be noticed. When I’m thinking of life I start to feel small so these paintings also cause me feel lonely. Sometimes we see our life in bright colours and sometimes in dark colours. It all depends on what happens to us, but there must be an unvarying essence that is always the same independently of lighting, this is our divine part.

These artworks are inspiring me to walk with my eyes open. When I walked in Budapest’s streets I used to forget how beautiful this city is. Next time I will look for the brilliant details of an old building and I will repeat it in different lights. We can see the tourists running through the city with a camera in their hands. They think it’s enough to catch the sight with a camera in a second, and then go away without watching a historic monument with their own eyes. They lose 99% of the experience.Monet is trying to show us that missing part. You never can say you saw everything. There are only mosaics of the whole thing for you to see. Same thing with an elephant. If you see only its legs you can think the elephant is like a column, if you see its ear, an elephant is a leaf of a palm tree, you can judge it a snake by its tail, but the elephant is none of them, its more.

If I could meet Monet and I could ask him a question I’d ask: What was the prize of renting space on a street? I guess the answer would be: The prize of one painting.

These paintings remind me of an old book, because of the old walls and they remind me about lace, because of the small details. Some pictures of these series are like faces of a wizard with his wrinkles.

The most interesting thing in this series is the contrast between the represented objects essence and the variety of its faces.