We’ve reported before about how artists’ diseases may have influenced their art. Now researchers think that Monet?s blurred vision, caused by cataracts, may have influenced his famous paintings of water lilies.

In the Independent, Jonathan Brown reports that US ophthalmologist Michael Marmor says that Monet’s cataracts would have made the world seem blurry and yellow-tinted?two characteristics of his later “water lily” series of paintings.

Monet finally had cataract surgery in 1923, at the age of 86. But Brown quotes art historian Chris Riopelle as saying, “[Monet’s eye condition] does not entirely answer the questions?after surgery, Monet’s style did not alter radically.”
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Over the years, there have been suggestions that the enigmatic portrait that is known as the Mona Lisa is actually a portrait of the artist, Leonardo DaVinci, painted as a woman, which is why the sitters identity has been lost to history. In the movie and book The DaVinci Code, it’s alleged that the person sitting next to Jesus in his Last Supper painting is actually Mary Magdalene, rather than St. John. Now a Japanese forensics experts says he has recreated the Mona Lisa’s voice?as well as DaVinci’s own voice.
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We can be thankful that modern medicine exists today, but if it had existed during the 16th to 19th centuries, the world might have missed out on the work of some of the world’s most creative painters, sculptors and poets.
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Even a minor stroke can change the way painters create art. Their painting style can change, as well as the colors they choose. In the Journal of Neurology, scientists report on their studies of two professional painters, both of whom had a stroke, and how it changed their art.

In one artist, the stroke was in the occipital lobe of the brain, which is involved in processing visual imagery. The second artist had a stroke in the limbic thalamus, which is connected to the frontal lobes of the brain, the seat of creativity. After resuming their work, neither painter changed the types of subjects he chose. But an art critic noted that both had definite changes in style.
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