Last night my husband and I went to hear a special lecture titled "The Eye of the Artist". The speaker was Dr. James Ravin, an opthamologist and co-auther of the book by the same name. The topic was fascinating as it showed how eye disease, affected some of the great artists, like Monet, Cassatt, Degas and O'Keeffe and what they painted. In particular, Dr. Ravin spent much time researching Claude Monet, whose cataracts were operated in 1923, three years before his death, and how visual acquity and color perception greatly effected his work prior to and post-surgery. His color perception shifted dramatically throughout his life. You can see it in his work, but until last night, I thought it was Monet's choice. The fact is, he was painting what he saw.
The close connection between art and the visual sciences intrigues me now, as I had never made a connection that the artists quality of vision would affect their painting. It makes perfect sense now after hearing Dr. Ravin speak.
The lecture brochure posed a question, "Were the bold brush strokes on Monet's Water Lilies a result of cataracts?".