Putting The 'High' in High Art: 'Rouen Cathedral, West Facade' and 'Rouen Cathedral, West Facade, Sunlight' by Claude Monet

City Paper

Having previously experienced Monet’s multiple paintings of the Rouen Cathedral in a more temperate mental state, I thought I would be dizzied by Monet’s gothic cathedrals. I feared I might fall over from getting lost in the thick, fractured strokes of color and be unable to readjust my perspective away from the paintings. And this did turn out to be the case. But in the space between and outside of the two canvases, everything actually became clearer: different, but with greater sense than I had floating from the west end of the museum to the east end. The time in light became clearer, and the shifting colors in movement became less jarring. Making sense of how the paint forms a single image and how the niches and arches appear ochre and green in one cathedral and purple and pink in another allowed me to make sense of everything else. #thedress is somewhat less irritating of a phenomenon now. Impressionism, as it turns out, is sobering, especially when it’s easy to forget time and the physics of light and space. 

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