I am here to see the de-deconstruction
of Monet’s water lilies, what
the curator calls Agapanthus,
the African lily grown 45 miles west
of Paris, but instead I watch
a bearded young artist, seated
in front of the magnificent if ignored
collected canvas, as his attention
is focused left to the exit door
and the young museum attendant
who is self-consciously and
embarrassedly aware that he is
being drawn in charcoal, shades
of black and white on gray paper.
I want to see the Monet but instead
I watch the intent artist drawing
the self-conscious attendant and
I glance deliberately to see
the likeness is rather remarkable,
right there in front of Monet’s
inspiring if ignored water lilies.
I would take a photograph
but cameras are not allowed.
On Tuesday, I posted “Navigating Monet’s Water Lilies,” about the three paintings that comprise The Agapanthus triptych currently on display at the St. Louis Art Museum. As I entered the large room containing the triptych, there was actually an artist seated in front of the Monet but focused on the drawing described here. Fortunately, I spent some time looking at Monet’s water lilies before I circled back to see what the artist was drawing.
Painting: Self-Portrait of the Artist with Beret by Claude Monet.