Monet Could See And Paint Ultraviolet Light

by Christopher Paul on April 17, 2012

Chalk this up to something I learned today: Monet developed cataracts as he aged which affected his ability to paint. But after having one removed from his left eye, he could see in ultrviolet light.

Late in his life, Claude Monet developed cataracts. As his lenses degraded, they blocked parts of the visible spectrum, and the colors he perceived grew muddy. Monet’s cataracts left him struggling to paint; he complained to friends that he felt as if he saw everything in a fog. After years of failed treatments, he agreed at age 82 to have the lens of his left eye completely removed. Light could now stream through the opening unimpeded. Monet could now see familiar colors again. And he could also see colors he had never seen before. Monet began to see — and to paint — in ultraviolet.

I can imagine being fascinated with new sensory experience if I was a painter.

via Kottke

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