Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Photo: Pierre Choumoff

Monet in Normandy

Haikus at the Exhibit

By Peter Y. Chou

The art exhibit "Monet in Normandy" was held at the Legion of Honor,
San Francisco, California, from June 17 through September 17, 2006.
These haikus were written on my visit, Tuesday, September 5, 2006.

Garden at Sainte-Adresse (1867)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Man in yellow hat
looks at couple by the sea—
Will they be sailing?
Regatta at Sainte-Adresse (1867)
Museum of Modern Art, New York

Man in yellow hat
looking at boat by the shore—
Should I go sailing?

Beach at Trouville (1870)
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT

Descending staircase.
Diagonals everywhere.
Buildings slanting down.
Camille on the Beach at Trouville (1870)
Yale Art Gallery, New Haven

"It's our honeymoon
and you are painting all day."
OK— I'll paint you!

Ships Riding on the Seine at Rouen (1872-73)
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Claude Monet's brushstrokes—
River Seine is shimmering.
Water is glowing.
The Museum at Le Havre (1873)
National Gallery, London

The museum, the boats,
but it's the harbor that glows—
white dash of magic!

Sea Coast at Trouville (1881)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Old friend from Boston—
Monet's Sea Coast at Trouville—
The lone tree and me.
By the Sea at Fécamp (1881)
Musée Malraux, Le Havre

Waves are coming in,
crashing on the Grainval Cliffs—
Monet has caught them!

Wheat Field (1881)
Cleveland Museum of Art

The summer wheat glows
more serene than a Van Gogh's
that invites you home.
The Cliffs at Dieppe (1882)
Künsthaus, Zurich, Switzerland

Dieppe's steep chalk cliff,
view of house, people, and sea—
O Dad, you were here!

Marine Near Etretat (1882)
Philadelphia Museum of Art

A calm horizon
separates the sky and the sea—
Monet's mind at peace.
Road at La Cavée Pourville (1882)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The hills and the sea—
One hundred twenty degrees—
Nature's geometry!

The Cliff, Etretat, Sunset (1882-83)
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Sky, cliff, sun, and sea—
All four elements are here:
Water, earth, air, fire.
Poplars, Pink Effect (1891)
Private Collection

Monet paints poplars—
The town votes to cut them down.
He buys them to finish his work.

Grainstack, Sun in the Mist (1891)
Minneapolis Institute of Art

The lone haystack sits
bathing in the sunlight mist
shining like a shrine!
Rouen Cathedral Façade
& Tour d'Albane
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

West Portal seen from
81 rue du Grand Pont—
bathed in sunlight's glow.

View of Rouen (1892)
Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen

City on a hill
awash in flood of sunlight—
spires touching heaven.
The Seine at Giverny, Morning Mists (1897)
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

O calm morning mist—
Epte flows into the Seine.
The Mind is awake!

Water Lilies (1908)
Dallas Museum of Art, TX

All in a circle!
water lilies in a pond—
Raphael's Madonna...
Nymphéas (1914-17)
Portland Art Museum, Oregon

Thick impasto paint
made the flowers bulge outward
even though it's flat.

— Peter Y. Chou, San Francisco, Sept. 4, 2006

Notes: All the images above were downloaded from the Web with the exception of Poplars, Pink Effect (Private Collection) and View of Rouen (Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen). These images were not found on the Web, and were scanned from the book Monet in Normandy by Richard Brettell (Rizzoli, 2006). The dates of the paintings and their museum locations were obtained from the Monet Exhibit at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, as well as this book Monet in Normandy.

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© Peter Y. Chou, Wisdom Portal
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (12-29-2006)