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Japanese Bridge Paintings by Claude Monet – Musée Marmottan Monet

Japanese Bridge Paintings by Claude Monet - Musée Marmottan Monet

The Japanese Bridge by Claude Monet (1918)

The Japanese Bridge by Claude Monet depicts the footbridge over the lily pond at Monet’s Giverney Gardens. In 1883 Monet turned a small pond on at Giverney into an Asian-influenced water garden. Monet expanded his pond by diverting water from the Epte River. Monet surrounded the pond with a diverse arrangement of flowers,  bushes, and trees. He filled the basin with water lilies and added a Japanese-style wooden bridge in 1895. He then started painting the pond with its gardens, water lilies and Japanese Pond for the rest of his life.

During the period when these paintings were created, Claude Monet had serious cataract challenges with his eyes. In 1923, Monet underwent two operations to remove his cataracts. The pictures that were created while cataracts affected his vision have a general reddish tone, which is characteristic of the vision of cataract victims. It may also be that after surgery, he was able to see specific ultraviolet wavelengths of light that are usually excluded by the lens of the eye. His condition may have affected the colors he perceived because, after his operations, he repainted some of these paintings.

The Japanese Bridge

  • Title:               The Japanese Bridge
  • French:            Le Pont Japonais
  • Artist:              Claude Monet
  • Year:                1918
  • Medium:          oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:    Height: 100 cm (39.3 ″); Width: 200 cm (78.7 ″)
  • Accession:       5077
  • Museum:        Musée Marmottan Monet

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Le Pont Japonais (1920s)

Japanese Bridge Paintings by Claude Monet

Le Pont Japonais by Claude Monet in the 1920s, the Japanese Bridge, the overflows of color, and the abstract dynamism of the paint suggests that the flowers are in bloom. Monet expresses his love affair with the light, the air, and his motifs of nature. A kind of brutality marks Monet’s last works in the application of colors. His final paintings testify to the artist’s altered vision, due to his cataracts and poor sight.

Le Pont Japonais

  • Title:                Le Pont Japonais
  • Artist:              Claude Monet
  • Year:                1920s
  • Medium:          oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   Height: 89 cm (35 ″); Width: 116 cm (45.6 ″)
  • Accession:      5106
  • Museum:        Musée Marmottan Monet

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 (1918)

Japanese Bridge by Claude Monet

During World War I, in which his younger son Michel served, Monet painted a series of Weeping Willow trees as an homage to the French fallen soldiers.

The Japanese Bridge

  • Title:                The Japanese Bridge
  • Artist:              Claude Monet
  • Year:                1918
  • Medium:          oil on canvas
  • Accession:       5079
  • Museum:        Musée Marmottan Monet

Claude Monet

Oscar-Claude Monet was a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the term “Impressionism” is derived from the title of his painting “Soleil Levant” or “Impression, Sunrise,” which was exhibited in 1874. Monet adopted a method of art in which he painted the same scene many times to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. Monet is known for having produced a series of paintings, in which all the versions consist of the same subject and perspective. Examples include his series of the “Valley of the Creuse” series and his famous series of “Haystacks” and “Water Lilies” paintings.

From 1883 Monet lived in Giverny, where at his home, he developed a garden landscape that included the lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899 he began painting the water lilies, firstly with a Japanese bridge as a central feature, and later in the series of large-scale paintings, with the water lilies as the main feature. This series occupied him for the last 20 years of his life.

Claude Monet

Highlights of the Musée Marmottan Monet

A Tour of Paris Museums and Historic Sites

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“Colors pursue me like a constant worry. They even worry me in my sleep.”
– Claude Monet

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Photo Credit: 1)Claude Monet [Public domain]

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