Monet is the father of impressionism, a style of art that revolutionised the art world in the early 20th century. However, there is a fascinating secret hidden in some of his most famous works, his lilies.
Monet developed cataracts, which is a disease that causes the lens in the eye to become cloudier and cloudier. As it destroys the patient’s vision, it also affects their ability to perceive colour. This changed Monet’s paintings. He always loved painting lilies, but the lush, green lilies turned redder and hazier as his cataracts worsened.
People thought that Monet was intentionally blurring his paintings and using a bold new colour scheme, and impressionists even took after this new “technique”. Monet’s works skyrocketed in price and his fame climbed even more. However, in the 1920’s he received corrective surgery for his cataracts, and thus he could see much more clearly. He saw the red lilies he had painted, and feeling ashamed he destroyed all the red lily paintings in a fit of rage.
Luckily his friends and family saved some of his works so that we could admire the beauty of his red lilies.