Monet May Have Been Able To See Ultraviolet Light

Monet May Have Been Able To See Ultraviolet Light

During the later part of his life, Claude Monet developed cataracts in his eyes which prevented him from seeing colors clearly. The painter tried various treatments to no avail. In 1923, at the age of 82, he opted to have the lens of his left eye completely removed. Judging by the paintings he produced after the procedure, it may have enabled him to see ultraviolet light. This condition is not unheard of in people with aphakia (the absence of a lens in the eye), because the lens is what prevents us from seeing light in ultraviolet wavelengths.

04:55

from It's Okay To Be Smart

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    When he developed cataracts, Monet's ability to distinguish colors was reduced. (1:23)

  • 2

    In 1923, Monet had the lens removed from his right eye. (2:25)

  • 3

    See two of Monet's paintings of the same scene, each painted with a different eye open: (3:26)

See all

Art History

Artists

Color

Visual Perception

Get smarter every day! Like us on Facebook.
You'll get the most interesting and engaging topics in your feed, straight from our team of experts.