Van Gough Poet Garden vs. Monet Water Lilies

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Art has been part of human lives for thousands of years. From the cave paintings to metal framework, people have gazed at arts while comparing and criticizing it. It is said that an art is representation of an artist’s lifestyle and events. Basically Artists paint on the events based on their lives. Such as Cloude Monet and Vincent Van Gough, their artwork was based on movements of Impressionism and Post Impressionism. Their interest shows outdoor environment to show effect of natural sun light or atmospheric light on day to day life scene. Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies” is the great example of outdoor paintings and Vincent Van Gogh’s “The garden of the poets” is based on two poets combining with the garden that he is referring to. Impressionist Monet was born in France while Vincent Van Gough was born in Germany. Both paintings are two dimensional and same medium Oil on Canvas is used. Water Lilies was painted in 1906 with size of 34 ½ by 36 ½ inches. Van Gough’s The Garden of Poets was painted in 1888 with size of 28 ¾ by 36 ¼ inches.

Van Gough’s painting the garden of poets is based on two dimensions. The subject matter is landscape by using sunlight reflects from the leaves of the trees. Vincent Van Gough describes in his painting The Garden of poets, “a corner of garden with a weeping tree, grass, round clipped cedar shrubs and an oleander bush…..There is a citron sky over everything, and also the colors have the richness and intensity of autumn….” by writing a letter to his brother Theo after arriving in Arles, France. When Van Gogh took a refuge in the Yellow House and he continued to paint with quality and style. The garden of poets include a weeping tree and oleander, cypress, shrubs and bushes are colored lime green while the sky is colored citron yellow indicating at autumn season. In Monet’s water lilies, he uses alike colors green and blue. Water is colored blue while lilies are painted green. Although it does not seem real, he uses colors laid on top of each other to clarify refraction of the light and changing shades of the colors to show depth of the pond.

What really separates both paintings from each other is the hidden meaning behind them. For example, when Van Gough painted the poets garden, he included the oleander to represent Boccaccio. Boccaccio was Van Gough’s younger friend and protage, the bush and the shrubs in the painting were for his other friends Donte and Petrarch. Weeping tree is the symbol for mourning or loss while the cypress symbolizes death or mortality. Even though Van Gogh included feelings for his friends and the poets he admired, the reason why he painted Garden of Poet’s was all because of Gauguin. In August of 1888, Van Gogh wrote a letter to Gauguin to come and work with him at Arles. His hopes were turned into a disappointment when Gauguin wrote back replying: “with his debts mounting by the day, his south seemed less and less probable” (Thames & Hundson, p 140, 2001). Van Gogh began to think that Gauguin would never want to come to Arles thus he became more frustrated with his life. While residing at Yellow House at Arles, Van Gogh said “If what one is doing gives a glimpse into infinity, and if one sees that one’s work has its own raison d’être and continues beyond, then one works more serenely” ( Thames & Hudson, p 142, 2001). Van Gogh had a suspicion that Gauguin had postponed his trip to Arles was because of debt or the fact the he hated Arles but rather he had another goal in mind. With this suspicion, Van Gogh began painting the Garden of Poets. He represented his disappointment regarding Gauguin letter by weeping tree along with cypress. Van Gough painted based on his feelings while Monet painted random series of Water Lilies. Basically Monet did not have any hidden meanings behind Water Lilies. After acquiring ownership in Giverny, Monet decided to build Japanease Style Bridge over a pond and had the idea of painting water lilies where it...
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