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“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go,” the American novelist and screenwriter, Truman Capote, once said. Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet may not have felt exactly the same about the fabled city. For sure, though, Venice had an exhilarating effect on these two key figures in the art movement called ‘Impressionism’. Both painters depicted its waters, palaces, cathedrals and sky in colours that continue to bedazzle viewers in the 21st century.

To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful, and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Venice, the Doge’s Palace, 1881
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (French, 1841–1919)
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA

Gondola, Venise, 1881
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of Christie’s via Wikimedia Commons

Grand Canal, Venice, 1881
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919)
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life — the air and the light which vary continually.

— Claude Monet

The Doge’s Palace (Le Palais ducal), 1908
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

Grand Canal, Venice, 1908
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, 1908
Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926)
Oil on canvas
Courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

~ Barista Uno

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