Sunday, June 07, 2009

Painting the Thames

The photo above is what the Thames actually looks like - well this afternoon anyhow. And this below is how Canaletto would have painted it:

Ok, maybe he was a bit better than a JP doodle, but you get the idea. Basically its a series of lines showing cuts through waves when actually they are three dimensional moving shapes.

Looking again at the photo above I found myself seeing not lines but patches and blobs, lots of them with subtle differences in tone and colour.

I began to look at it in the same way as the impressionists did - as you can see from the Monet below that I posted some time ago.

Though I think even Monet would agree there's nothing wrong in Canaletto's buildings!


Anonymous said...

Of course it could have just been the froth of the scum on the Thames. Remember, most raw sewage was dumped directly into it.

JP said...

Thats true! It could have been the real colours and as lumpy as that!

bonnie said...

My mom was visiting me one time a few years ago when the Brooklyn Museum was hosting the travelling exhibit, "Monet in the Mediterranean". My dad was actually stationed on a tiny island off the coast of Sardinia for a couple of years. The water there was indescribably beautiful (more beautiful than the water in Hawaii, believe it or not). My mom & I were simply astounded at how well Monet had captured the appearance of that water. The photographic reproductions in the catalogue & books for sale didn't half begin to do the paintings justice.

JP said...

You actually have to see paintings to really get the colours right even with the best photo off the internet doesn't get the richness.

Would have like to have seen that Monet - was it this one?

Carol Anne said...

Everybody thinks of Monet in terms of water lilies, but he sure painted a lot of sailboats, too.

In our travels through jumble sales and thrift stores, Pat and I run across the occasional fine-art print of a Monet sailboat painting. We've collected eight so far.

My favorite is a panorama of a regatta with dozens of boats crowded together in something resembling a line. I could almost imagine the shouts of "A droit!" "A droit!" coming from the crews as they jockey for position at the start.

And this is in a painting, not a photograph, so Monet couldn't have just snapped it onto his canvas.

bonnie said...

That was one of a couple dozen! It was really spectacular. I think that was one of the ones where he caught the clarity & sparkle of the water the best.