Monet’s Water Lilies Through the Eyes of the Viewer


Water Lilies are a series of paintings artistically painted by Monet. Later paintings of Monet show a different hue from the almost blinding artist in his late years. When I first glanced at the one having a bridge, I thought it to be a photograph! This was intriguing. It evoked emotions that steamed up my enthusiasm, thus I am indebted to write about it. The effect of colour is the most artistic facet that correlates with light to bring an overwhelming experience to the eye in his pieces of art. Elkins observes that when one ‘sees’ an object the effect of light strikes the eye and seeing becomes simple and less strenuous (19). In fact, when my eyes had a deeper and closer look, the movement of Monet’s brush explicitly brought finer features. Intrinsic and extrinsic features are evident and the emotions evoked are aesthetic to the eye. These facets bring the real impression of the water lilies. Thus, a closer look at Monet’s Water Lilies shows the intrinsic and extrinsic facets that give the main theme and makes one have a memorable experience.

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Discussion based on Tolstoy and Elkins

Elkins adds that when the eye lingers on the piece of art aesthetic emotions are evoked (132). The use of colour formalises the structure of art and evokes emotions, hence art stares back at the viewer (46). This is similar to Tolstoy’s argument that a piece of work replicates emotions whenever the eye comes into contact with the objects represented in the work (Carroll 78). Here the intrinsic features of art are evident significantly. Monet’s piece of art gives the impression of water lilies. I even thought it to be a photo! The heavy correlation of colour and light brings the intrinsic facets in the painting that sends awe and makes one gape at the piece. Yellow colour has a mixed fashion of red tint. The brush later adds a tonic blue hue that amazingly shows three-dimensional aspects. For example, the movement of water is ‘alive’, depth is felt, and the natural form of the lilies can be seen when a closer look is taken. The reflection of the lilies in water is gentle and makes you envy how real they suspend yet they are on a flat surface. Elkins would most probably be startled by how the lilies stare back.

The intrinsic and extrinsic features are postulated in this piece of art. That is, the painting evokes aesthetic emotion (Carroll 83). One finds it irrelevant to withdraw his eyes from it. The significant form is achieved by the hue used. Also, vanishing points shows the sky with a blue tint and the subdued light enhances the realistic appearance of the water-lilies (Elkins 18).

Tolstoy’s expressionism perception of art is evident in the piece. For example, he believes that art is anything that expresses emotions to humans and is passed on to one another (Carroll 108). From a worm’s point of view, the startling expressive emotion sent to the viewer is the texture of the objects. The beauty is compelling. A keen eye showed that the shadows of the lilies did not have the black hue. This was overwhelming closer look findings!


Thus, taking a closer look at art, one can be able to consider beauty, form, and the extrinsic and intrinsic forms. Sometimes two- and three-dimension aspect brings abstract facets. Hence, in order to appreciate works of art like Monet’s Water Lilies, the above-named features should be relevant. Because they incite aesthetic emotions and give a revelation of deeper experiences that are overwhelming. Therefore, a closer look at Monet’s Water Lilies shows the intrinsic and extrinsic facets that give the main theme and makes one have a memorable experience.

Works Cited

Carroll, Noel. Philosophy of Art: A Contemporary Introduction, New York, NY: Routledge, 1999. Print.

Elkins, James. The Object Stares Back: On the Nature of Seeing. New York, NY: Mariner Books, 1997. Print.

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