• Monet’s Paintings Affected by his Cataracts

    Don’t let this happen to your art career!

    This is a fascinating article about how when Monet was in his 70’s, his cataracts began to interfere with how he could see the images he wanted to paint.   Since his vision was becoming cloudier and cloudier with a definite color shift due to the advancement of the cataracts, his paintings at the time took on an even fuzzier look with a noticeable shift in the color palette he used.

    Keep in mind, back in the early 1900’s when this occurred, cataract surgery was in it’s infancy as a new surgical approach to an age old problem.   (For a graphic representation of what surgery entailed back then, check out the Showtime program The Knick.  Gah.)  He prolonged the surgery as long as possible and then only allowed one eye to be operated upon.   He was afraid of losing his sight permanently- very understandable for anyone who makes their living through the way they see a scene.

    As a photographer, I feel very protective about my vision.   The idea of losing my ability to see due to a cataract is horrifying. Thankfully, cataract surgery now is a simple, straightforward procedure where you don’t even need to spend the night.   In. Out. Done.  Back to 20/20 vision. (or thereabouts).
    It reminds me of the dilemma I had 15 years ago when I  looked at getting Lasik to correct my myopia.  I had the opportunity to schedule with an amazing local surgeon and while I really wanted to do it, I was really worried that something would go wrong and I’d lose my ability to see clearly.  The thought of losing or altering my sight was frightening- I was a wedding photographer way back then. Good vision is kind of important.  I can’t imagine what Monet went through all those years ago.

    It was only after much research and reassurance that I ever agreed to get the Lasik done- the potential benefits seemed to far outweigh the risk.  As I looked into the procedure and looked into the reputation of the surgeon who was to do it for me, it allayed a lot of my concerns and I went ahead with it with resounding success. After a lifetime of fuzziness without glasses or contacts, the ability to wake up in the morning and see the clock or to look through my lens at a really pretty flower was almost life changing.  The sense of freedom did feel life changing.   15 years later I still couldn’t be happier.


    Sadly, Monet did not feel the same after his surgery; he was angry and frustrated that his vision did not return to what it once was.   Fortunately for us, cataract surgery has advanced so his experience is no longer the norm.


    Check out the article- it’s a brief, but worthwhile read if you’re interested in the impressionist movement.



    Additionally, if you have some vision issues due to cataracts or are thinking of getting laser surgery to correct your vision, please give us a call.   We’re happy to discuss your options.

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