Thursday marks the birthday of our favorite waterlily happy impressionist, Monsieur Claude Monet. The bearded painter par excellence, known for his dream-washed depictions of meditative gardens and serial visions of haystacks and poplar trees, would turn 173 if he were magically alive today.
"Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment," Monet once said, a statement not all too surprising considering his ability to capture a landscape as it appears in the very moment, infused with a singular mixture of color and light. That being said, the solidified image we now associate with Monet's oeuvre excludes many of his earlier works, made before he had fully found his niche. In honor of artist's special day, we're revisiting 7 works we would never have attributed to the Monet we know and love.
Behold, 7 paintings we can't believe are by Claude Monet. Toto, we're not in Giverny anymore.
1. On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt. 1868
Given the thick swaths of paint and the focus on modern life, we'd peg this for a Manet.
2. Camille, 1866
The striking vertical portrait also rings Manet, or maybe even a James Whistler.
3. Pheasant, 1869
Between the realism and the devotion to nature's minutiae, this looks like a Courbet.
4. Le Japonaise, 1876
This one's really a doozy. We'd have guessed... Van Gogh in his Japan-centric phase?
5. Rue Montorgueil, 1878
Monet's starting to find his beat, but this city-centric setting reminds us more of a Pissarro.
6. View At Rouelles, Le Havre, 1858
So realistic! This looks more like a Millet landscape to us.
7. Mouth of the Seine, 1865
Again, such sharp detail. We'd expect this kind of seascape epic from Gericault.
Now here's the Monet we all know and love!
Happy birthday Monet! Thank you for painting your memory of a garden in our minds and imaginations forevermore!