London by Day

Back in the mid 90s – that is, the mid 1890s – Impressionist painter Claude Monet created a series of paintings of the Cathedral in Rouen, France. He did more than thirty paintings, all (or most) of which recreate the facade of the church from the same angle.

While from the same angle, they are done at different times of day and in different seasons of the year. As argued in Art & Physics, the series shows a kind of time travel, a fourth dimension: The same object looks differently over time. It evolves and changes, and yet it is the same object. Or is it?

We are humans evolve and change over time and yet we are the same person inside. Or are we? One of the beauties of art is that is stirs up human psychology, history, religion, politics, the weather, technology, and college papers.

“Yours is the best paper I’ve ever read in a freshman survey course,” gushed my art history college professor at the end of my final exam. I was a senior at the time. No matter. Art is its own adventure, and if stories like this could be true, then I want that adventure too.

The opposite idea of Monet’s paintings, and only done with an iPhone and some clever filters. This series is one single photo of Trafalgar Square in London. Under party cloudy skies, a little chilly, and full of tourists and visitors.

And yet each recreated image evokes the same object, at the same time, but with a different feeling and mood. Is it the same object then, in each panel? I’m no Monet, but I’m not so sure.


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