Ten Love Lessons From Claude Monet

Claude Monet was one of the forerunners of what would eventually become one of the most easily accessible artistic movements of the era. The influence that the work of the Impressionists had on every aspect of modern art that came after is indisputable. With the airy, ethereal use of color and the idyllic landscapes that would become his trademark, it’s easy to associate Monet’s work with pure romance. With this in mind, here are ten love lessons we can extract from his body of work.

  1. Be Loyal – Monet often painted the same subject many times over in order to capture every detail and to explore the changes of shifting light. As a result, each depiction is unique; appreciating and making an effort to understand the many facets of your lover’s personality can make each day a new experience.
  2. Nurture Your Muse – The gardens of Monet’s Giverny home were meticulously maintained by the artist. Just as he refused to neglect his inspiration, you can refuse to take your mate for granted. Making sure that your relationship is well-tended is vitally important.
  3. In Sickness And In Health – Even when he suffered from cataracts that affected his vision, Monet continued to dedicate himself to his craft. This devotion is not unlike that promised in traditional wedding vows, pledging to care for your mate “in sickness and in health.”
  4. Ignore Idle Gossip – The painting entitled Impression: Sunrise would become the basis of a term that defined an entire movement: Impressionism. Panned almost universally by art critics of the time, the painting was scorned for it’s unfamiliar style; Monet and his like-minded cohorts began using the name Impressionists as a badge of honor. Just as he gave no credence to his detractors, we can ignore those who would poison our relationships with their idle, jealous gossip.
  5. Don’t Let Your Finances Damage Your Relationship – Though he eventually found great commercial success, Monet’s early career was far from lucrative. Despite his monetary shortcomings, he remained devoted to his craft. Try to take a page from his book, and do your best to avoid fights about money.
  6. Look At The Big Picture – The large scale and painting style that Monet was fond of is difficult to make out if you’re standing too close; it comes together as you step back and take it all in. Looking at the big picture is also important in a love affair; a jumble of incoherent details can all suddenly make sense with a change in perspective.
  7. Tradition Is Overrated – What works for everyone else may not be right for you and your relationship. Monet and his cadre of similar-thinking artists created what would become one of the most widely-recognized artistic movements of their era by flouting tradition; your unconventional methods might be the basis for your great love story.
  8. Spontaneity Keeps Things Fresh – One of the major factors that influenced the painting style of Claude Monet and the other Impressionists was the need to work quickly, as the changing quality of light affected their mostly bucolic subjects. This spontaneous method lent a vitality and quality of color that captured the attention of a public accustomed to the rigid methods of the Académie. Unexpected and exciting gestures can lend a similar vitality to established relationships, keeping them fresh and exciting as well.
  9. Color Is Key – The work of Monet is associated with dashes of color that come together to create a unified piece when viewed from a slight distance. Similarly, a relationship is made up of the many colorful experiences and personality quirks of two separate people; when carefully blended, the individual colors maintain their own hues but also lend themselves to the larger scheme.
  10. It’s Okay to Be Private – Today’s society seems to be obsessed with the public discussion of our relationships, treating those who prefer to keep such things to themselves with a vague distrust. Monet spoke plainly about his distaste for discussions regarding the methods he used; he’s often quoted as saying, “Whether my cathedral views, my views of London and other canvases are painted from life or not is nobody’s business and of no importance whatsoever.”

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