365 Days of Art: May 8 – Monet Complains of “Spoiling” Paintings Due to Failing Eyesight

Claude Monet, The Japanese Footbridge, c. 1922

May 8, 1922

Monet writes to the author Marc Elder about his failing eyesight, specifically, cataracts:

…in the end I was forced to recognize that I was spoiling them [the paintings], that I was no longer capable of doing anything good. So I destroyed several of my panels. Now I’m almost blind and I’m having to abandon work altogether. It’s hard but that’s the way it is: a sad end despite my good health!

Whether he could see the specific differences or not, Monet’s later paintings are characterized by a darker, redder palette, and broader brushstrokes compared to his earlier works.