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Art or artefact : the impact of cataract on the later paintings of Claude Monet

Poster Details

First Author: S.Scholtz GERMANY

Co Author(s):    T. Rabsilber   G. Auffarth           

Abstract Details


The change in Monets later paintings can be interpreted as effect of proceeding cataract as well as the fact that he repainted some of his paintings he completed after he underwent cataract surgery. This poster shows the influence of cataract progression in Monets later work.


International Vision Correction Research Centre (IVCRC), Dept. of Ophthalmology, University of Heidelberg, Germany


Investigation of primary and secondary source material. Examination of work by the artist for evaluating the influence of cataract in his later art work.


Monet died in 1926 aged 86 then. He had undergone cataract surgery three years before. It is known that Monet destroyed, respectively repainted some of his pieces finished shortly before, as he was appalled by the colours he had used, estimating these as " cold" then. Progression in loss of details and changing of colours used due to proceeding cataract are tracked down in a selection of Monet’s paintings of water lilies.


In later paintings of Claude Monet the impact of cataract can easily be observed: A loss in details and the preference for yellow and brown colours can be seen. As Monet was a very prolific painter we have the chance to notice cataract progression influencing a great painter’s perception. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE?: No

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