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(A short story of 1863 words)

The Monet Exhibition


by Philip Mervyn

Sometimes you just can't see the big picture. It's all too confusing and you need to put a bit of distance between yourself and what you're trying to see. I could see you, but things still weren't really clear.

Monet painted the same things over and over again. Honestly. He would line up a dozen or so canvasses and then paint basically the same scene on each of them. He’d be working on them all at the same time, going around and maybe making one a little lighter or darker, or changing the angle ever so slightly, but it was pretty much the same thing, over and over again.

I know this now, because I’m cultured. I went to the big exhibition in town. I bet that surprises you. You always said I wasn’t cultured enough, and I didn’t understand the sort of things you liked to do.

‘It’s just the same thing over and over again with you’, you used to say. ‘Try something new. There’s so much you don’t know.’ Well, now I know that much.

In one room at the exhibition there were dozens of paintings of water lilies, all the same unless you looked very carefully, and then you could make out slight variations in the colour or the shapes. In another room there were about twenty views of London Bridge all painted as Monet had looked out from his hotel window. I could just imagine him standing in his room, moving from one canvas to the next, adding a bit of paint here or there, and painstakingly building up the pictures, all of the same thing.

He must have been very patient. Not like you...

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