"Effie, shining in a wig of metallic gold, lacks her usual verve. She has to claw around the girls’ reaping ball for quite a while to snag the one piece of paper that everyone already knows has my name on it…"
Sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.
Claude Monet - The Japanese Bridge series, 1899-1926
Ten years after moving to Giverny in 1883, Claude Monet envisioned turning a small pond on an adjacent parcel of land into an Asian-influenced water garden. Overcoming the resistance of locals wary of introducing foreign plants into the region, Monet won approval to expand the pond by diverting water from the Epte River. He encircled the basin with a vivacious arrangement of flowers, trees, and bushes, and the next year filled it with water lilies. He added a Japanese-style wooden bridge in 1895, and a few years later started to paint the pond and its water lilies—and never stopped, making them the obsessive focus of his intensely searching work for the next quarter century.
In 1899 Monet painted 12 works that centered on the garden and the Japanese Footbridge he constructed.
Lush and luminous, The Japanese Bridge immerses us in the physical experience of being in the garden. With the bands of the blue bridge suspended like a canopy near the top of the canvas and no sky to be seen, the water and billowing foliage fill the visual field, immersing the viewer in the verdant, brightly colored waterscape. Cool blue and green tones predominate, but are balanced by the pink, white, and yellow lilies floating in complex pattern across the surface of the water from near to far. Controlled, vertical dabs of paint define the sparkling greenery and its fleeting reflection in the water, while the more fluid lilies are rendered with broad, textured, horizontal strokes that emphasize the shared physicality of the paint and the landscape.
This spiral staircase conceived by London designer Paul Cocksedge will feature balustrades overflowing with plants and circular spaces where employees can take time out from their work. Paul Cocksedge designed The Living Staircase for Ampersand, a new office building in London’s Soho dedicated to creative businesses.
The design concept is for a staircase that is about “more than a means of moving from floor to floor”. By widening the diameter of the spiral and excluding the central column, there will be enough space to create three circular platforms that can be used as social spaces.