Claude Monet and Claude Debussy

Audio Apr. 19, 2022
An impressionistic painting depicts a cloudy sky and rolling waves crashing on a beach. A dark sailboat rides the waves in the distance.
Claude Monet, The Sea at Le Havre, 1868, Carnegie Museum of Art
It is extraordinary to see the sea; what a spectacle! She is so unfettered that one wonders whether it is possible that she again become calm.
Claude Monet

Carnegie Museum of Art is delighted to bring you artwork from our collection whose stories and themes connect with the sounds you will hear from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. We hope you enjoy experiencing this work of art alongside the performance.

Writers, musicians, artists, and intellectuals met and mingled in 19th century Paris. This cross-pollination gave rise to new ideas including Impressionism. Debussy shunned the title even though the softness and sensuality of his music helped to define it. Monet embraced it to describe his visual expression of the world. Despite their individual leanings, both found inspiration in the sea. Debussy, who translated the mood that water could convey into musical notes, had a life-long love of the sea beginning with his sailor father. Monet, as indicated by the quote, had a visceral reaction to viewing the sea in front of him.

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