When we went to Giverny to see Claude Monet’s house and garden it only really hit me how cool it was when we saw the famous bridge over the water lilies. I kept hearing people around me talk about how walking over the bridge was ‘like being in one of his paintings.’ It brought me back to all of the paintings I saw at the Musée d’Orsay. I still couldn’t make sense of the fact that it was the same place. He managed to create so many different feelings and almost different worlds in all of the different paintings of the same place. It really is hard to wrap your head around the idea that he felt he needed to, as the guide told us, obsessively paint the water lilies over and over. He saw something different each time and I think that shows how he had an entirely different mind set than most.
Walking around his house, you could see all of the different paintings he had hanging up, representing all of these different perceptions of different artists. From people to colors to angles and expressions, it was like walking around with a special set of lenses. It reminded me why I value art so much, not that I forgot, but it just reinforced the feeling, I suppose. It made it all that much harder to accept the fact that some people just might not value art as much as it is actually worth. It reminds me of the quote from the movie Dead Poet’s Society in which Robin Williams’ character tells his class: “The human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” I think about that quote a lot.