Monday, April 09, 2007

Two views of the pond

In the summer of 1869, two unknown artists set up their easels next to each other beside a bistro in Paris called "La Grenouillere." The name means “frog pond” although strangely enough, the body of water next to the restaurant contained no frogs. I’ve heard that “frog” (or its French equivalent) was slang for girls of flirtable quality, although if I were a girl of flirtable quality, I’m not sure I’d be flattered by the reference to warty amphibians, but I digress. The two artists faced the pond and began to paint, each in his own style, each with a slightly different perspective. The resulting paintings now hang in New York’s Metropolitan Museum and Stockholm’s National Museum. The artists were Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir.

Monet's Frog Pond

Renoir's Frog Pond

It’s a shame that the paintings are now on two separate continents because, while they are each beautiful in their own right, the comparison of the two is the best part of the story. They look very different. Of course they look different. Even with the same basic materials and the same subject, Monet and Renoir proved that experience is subjective. We don’t always see things the same way and we certainly don’t always frame things the same way (and by frame I mean think about them or paint pictures of them or write blog posts about them).

Case in point: I wrote a few days ago about the neighborhood burial of a dead robin. My son Ethan wrote on his blog about the same incident. After much prompting (okay, nagging… intense nagging) he finished that post today. I’m not sure we even experienced the same event. Mine clearly comes from the voice of a mother (and one who loves to process things). Ethan’s, well, you need to read for yourself. It blew me away. Now you’ll be able to see who has the REAL talent in the family.

13 comments:

Radioactive Jam said...

:-D

Luisa Perkins said...

Good grief. The apple does not fall far from the tree.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Two views indeed, both equally telling! I agree with luisa perkins, the apple definitely doesn't fall far from the tree.

Out of curiosity, do you prefer one painting over the other?

Heth said...

Wow. He is amazing Julie.

Jenni said...

He impressed me, Julie! I especially loved the part at the end about the robin dying while looking at that which she loved best; the sky. *sigh* lovely.

allysha said...

I didn't want to sound patronizing on his blog, so I ask you: HOW OLD IS HE? What a sweetheat. And talented, too.

allysha said...

Also I love those paintings and the story behind them. (and of course, I meant sweetheart).

Em said...

Wow - your son is a treasure... I'm also wondering... how old is he?!

ruth said...

Wow, how old is he? He's incredibly talented whatever his age.

Jane said...

Great talent! I assume he is in a gifted program? Do his teachers get to see this side of him? His voice is so strong!

Shalee said...

Good night! How old is Ethan? I want to write like him when I grow up.

Kimberly said...

I've always thought that one of goals as parents should be to raise children who surpass us in some way.

You've got that one nailed. He is an amazingly talented writer.

WARREN said...

I am doing a study of the impressionists & the author states these were painted in BOUGIVAL on
the Seine & as the river runs would have been a distance from PARIS?