Monique M. Keller
Creation and love are two topics intertwined in the Creation Illuminated book. It is intriguing in Scripture that creation and love are mentioned together; painting a picture of the Creator’s love for mankind demonstrated in nature.
Let your mind wander back to famous art pieces. The art pieces taking my breath away cover 200m² of canvass mounted strategically in a museum in the heart of Paris. Eight enormous canvasses filled with the impressionistic genius Claude Monet’s colors, talent, and skill. What inspired the world-renowned artist in 1914 at 74 years of age to start painting again after he laid down his paintbrushes? A bit more background first. Claude’s wife passed away 3 years before and his son lost his life. World war one was in full blast, his son Michael was called up to serve in the French army, and from his house in Genevie, he heard the gunshots. Claude fell into a depression but his lifelong friend of 30 years George Clemesou encouraged Claude to take up one more project. During the war George ensured his friend has sufficient art supplies and cigarettes; keep him motivated but in return, Monet created and donated the works to France. Claude commenced his last, most famous works. Where did one of the most famous artists and creatives draw inspiration from to create his masterpieces? Nature. Monet painted the Water Lilies outside his home in his garden in the four seasons and at different times in the day. The Creation inspired the creator.
The eight massive curved panels were mounted in two oval-shaped rooms in the Orangerie museum specifically dedicated to Claude Monet’s masterpieces. Claude wanted it to be perfectly mounted. The sunrise scenes are mounted on the eastern side and the sunset scenes are on the west. Ample light filters in from a skylight giving the viewer an experience unparalleled. Monet said, “It gives the illusion of the endless whole, of a wave with no horizon and no shore.”
The panels covered in up to 15 layers of paint all have one common trend. There is no horizon in the panels, very different from the art of that time where the horizon was seen as critical. Omitting the horizon Monet creates a vast field of air, light, and water. No sense of scale. No point to orientate the viewer. There is no place to anchor, eyes moving from side to side, up and down, over and over. I can attest to the feeling of the water lilies drawing the viewer deeper.
Time and space are lost. Isn’t it how we somedays feel since March 2020. The horizon is not clear, the feeling of drifting from side to side, up and down in the wake of the waves of the virus.
Monet’s water lilies were in actual fact war memorials for the millions of people who lost their lives during the first world war, edging the great painter on to make his final pieces the best.
To whom and what do you turn to when the horizon is not clear? It is in these moments where creation and love, the Creators Love can be the anchor securing and protecting as is written in Romans 8:38-39.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
With love always,