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Twilight, Venice

also known as Dusk, or San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk

Artist: Claude Monet
Created: 1908
Dimensions (cm): 92.0 x 65.0
Format: Oil on canvas
Location: Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan

Claude Monet was the leader in one of the most sweeping revolutions in the history of art: Impressionism.

The term “impression” signifies the sensory information registered on the retina prior to any recognition of the object.  For example, the eye sees tiny black spots before it recognizes them as faraway pedestrians. ”When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field or whatever” Monet explained to a neighbor in Giverny, “merely think here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape, until it gives you your own naïve impression of the scene before you”.

He later claimed that he wished he might share the experience of a blind person suddenly granted the power of sight.

Twilight, Venice is a prime example from this impressionist.

Twilight, Venice, aka Dusk, aka Church of San Giorgio Maggiore by twighlight, aka Crepuscule a Venise, was painted in the autumn of 1908 in Venice where Monet and his wife Alice had traveled by their own chauffeur-driven car. They stayed first at the Palazzo Barbaro and later at the Hotel Brittania.  It was here that he created Dusk. This masterpiece is currently on display at the Bridgestone Museum of Art in Tokyo, Japan.

The period which Monet created this riverscape or seascape painting was when he began losing his eyesight from gray cataracts.  Much like many other painters who were afflicted with pain or disease, suffering seemed to provoke him to do his greatest work.  The vibrant blue, yellow, and red colors were used by Monet to depict the sunset in Venice.  Across the lagoon we see San Giorgio Maggiore, a famous island church in Venice, Italy.

This great work of art Twilight, Venice gained additional fame and popularity when it was featured in the movie “The Thomas Crown Affair”.  The multimillion dollar Claude Monet painting is stolen by Thomas Crown in the movie.

Claude Monet was a beloved and brilliant artist, not only as a leading impressionist painter but also as a major twentieth-century artist.


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