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Chapter 109 - The Mysterious Art Museum

A street artist's life changed when he ended up at a mysterious art museum. DBT,Korean,Novel,Translation,Art,Artist,Slice of life,Poor to Rich,Mystery

Meeting Monet (6)

Monet, appearing suddenly aged.

I am used to dreaming and traveling back in time, but Lea seemed fascinated by the time-traveling aspect and quickly ran towards Monet, who was painting. She wanted to see his face and what he was painting, but she soon had to stop.

Because of the old gentleman walking along the rice paddy path from the opposite direction of the farmers.

The gentleman's features were very sharp.

A nearly square, rectangular jaw.

A splendid beard running along his jawline up to under his nose and short hair.

He seemed to be quite well-off, wearing an elegant suit made of fine fabric.

Lea, having run towards him, stopped and looked at the gentleman before stepping back.

She's still a child, it seems. Even knowing it's a dream, she's scared of strangers.

"Ban! Someone is coming."

"Oh, I see. Come here."

Lea hurried back to me, grabbed the hem of my coat, looked up with wide eyes. Did she notice the admiration and respect in my eyes? She looked back and forth between the gentleman and me and asked,

"Who is he?"

I smiled and replied without taking my eyes off the gentleman,

"Auguste Renoir."


Young Lea might not know, but this man is Monet's close friend and a renowned historical master among Impressionist painters.

'I can't believe I'm seeing Renoir. What luck.'

I took Lea with me to where Monet was sitting on a stool, painting.

Lea looked at the approaching Renoir with unease, but relaxed a bit when she saw he wasn't paying attention to us.

Renoir stood silently behind his friend, watching the painting.

One would expect a greeting when visiting a friend. But Renoir just silently observed Monet painting.

Eventually, it was Monet who spoke first.

"Have you arrived?"


This era in Paris.

An era when people asked about each other's well-being through letters, and painters traveling everywhere to paint didn't often get to see their friends. The two greeted each other as if they had just met.

Renoir, with his arms crossed, watched the painting, and Monet focused on his painting.

After a long silence, Renoir spoke.

"How many have you painted?"

"Hmm, this is the twentieth."

"How many years has it been?"

"Three years."

"Three years looking at the same place, your passion is indeed remarkable. Aren't you tired of just painting this haystack?"

Monet put down his brush and said,

"The subject is secondary to me. I try to express the living thing between the object and me. Just a moment."

Monet stood up.

Was he taking a break from painting?

I understood why he stood up as I checked the surroundings.

The farmers we had seen walking and talking were about to move the haystack. Monet approached them and took out some money from his pocket.

The farmers initially looked irritated, but their expressions quickly changed to gratitude as they took the money and left.

Monet returned to his painting and said to Renoir,

"I'm not painting the same thing for three years. I'm painting something new every day. And sometimes, I discover something I've never seen before. It's a difficult task, but I'm managing well."

Renoir, with his arms still crossed, nodded towards the painting.

"The light?"

"The light constantly changes, altering the beauty of the atmosphere and objects every moment."

I nodded slightly. His words were correct.

The colors we see are, in fact, an illusion. They are not intrinsic. Everything that has color looks different in the absence of light. The colors we know are an optical illusion caused by changes in light.

Was it too complicated a story?

Lea tilted her head.

"I don't understand, Ban."

I smiled and picked her up.

"Yes, it's a complicated story. It's difficult for Lea to understand now."

"Will you explain it to me later?"


I'm not sure if I can explain it once we're outside the dream.

Renoir, looking at Monet's painting, said,

"Monet, why don't you at least try to add some detail to this haystack? If you leave it all smudged like this,”

Renoir hesitantly opened his mouth.

“Speaking of which, I thought you were truly mad when Camille turned to dust.”

Monet did not respond to Renoir’s words.

But I know why such a story came up.

Instead of mourning by his dead wife’s side, Monet painted her. It was an act that shocked people at the time.

Monet, looking at a haystack with eyes full of reminiscence, spoke softly.

“At dawn, I found myself sitting in front of a woman I loved and will always love, who had passed away. I was staring at her tragic sleep. Suddenly, I realized my eyes were following the color changes of a deceased person.”


“Shades of blue, yellow, and gray. What am I doing? A wish emerged in me to imprint the disappearing image of her in my heart.”


Monet slowly turned to Renoir.

The tone of a friend who understands him.

But in Monet's expression, there is a hint of anger towards himself.

“But me, I’m such a person that before I thought to paint my beloved, those colors evoked an organic emotion, leading me to act reflexively, governed by the unconscious behavior that has dominated my life. Like an animal turning a waterwheel.”

I closely observed his expression as he spoke.

What kind of emotion could produce such an expression?

His expression harbored a variety of emotions.

Anger towards himself, sorrow, reminiscence, longing.

Pride and responsibility as a painter.

The two remained silent for a while.

After a while, Monet picked up his brush again and said,

“Colors obsess me all day long, bring me joy, and also pain. My life passes by thinking only about my work, my paintings.”

Monet gestured towards a haystack lying alone in nature.

“If one must imitate, it should be the greatest thing, which is nature itself. I desire no other fate than to live and paint in harmony with the laws of nature.”

Renoir’s expression as he looked at his friend.

His expression also carried a lot.

‘Think not only of your paintings but your life and family.’

‘Keep living like this and you’ll be in real trouble. Please, come to your senses, Monet.’

‘Life isn’t just about painting, friend.’

Many words surfaced on his face, but his mouth never opened. Perhaps because he himself was a painter who had devoted his life to art.

Renoir took off his hat, looking at the golden fields, and changed the subject.

“Paul asked to be contacted. He felt sorry that he couldn’t help when you sent a letter asking to borrow money a few years ago.”

My eyes sparkled at Renoir’s words.

‘Paul Cézanne! An impressionist painter and friend of Monet.’

There’s a saying in art history that geniuses are born at the same time. It's true. Monet's schoolmates included not only Renoir and Paul Cézanne but also Camille Pissarro.

Monet, painting, said,

“Tell him not to worry. I was struggling back then, but not now.”

Renoir chuckled and joked,

“Have you already forgotten the days when you wrote letters to friends asking to borrow 20 francs?”


“At that time, critics mocked us as Impressionists. Thanks to them, we were all jobless and poor.”

Finally, Monet put down his brush. He looked slightly irritated.

“Damn swines. Just by running their mouths, they put an entire field of painters, no, a whole genre, into the mire of poverty.”

“Ha ha, but now even they acknowledge us. The word ‘Impressionist,’ created to mock us, has become a term that represents us.”

Renoir seemed to be trying to lift his friend out of the emotional mire by bringing up old memories, smiling brightly again.

“Do you remember our trip?”

“I do, was it 8 years ago?”

“Right, our trip to the south. The difficult journey where we carried sketchbooks, pencils, palettes, dozens of canvases, and traveled in third-class carriages. I don’t know why it's so memorable.”

“Yes, I remember that.”

Renoir, looking at Monet’s face, said,

“A few weeks after returning home, I went to see you and they said you’d gone on another trip.”

“That’s right, I’m happiest when painting outdoors.”

“Why didn’t you call me? I would have loved to join.”

Monet looked at his friend’s face for a moment, lips twitching as if deciding whether to speak.

Renoir burst into hearty laughter.

“It’s alright, you can be honest.”

After a moment's hesitation, Monet spoke,

“I produce good work when I rely on my own impressions and work alone.”

Words that could sound negative to the listener.

It could be interpreted as saying that Renoir was a hindrance during that trip.

But Renoir just smiled, unaffected.

However, Leah’s voice, filled with complaint, could be heard.

"That man seems so grumpy. Mom said you shouldn't say things like that to a friend."

Ha-ha, Lea.

He's not an ordinary person, that's why.

The person in front of you now is a man who, even on the verge of losing his sight to cataracts after seeing too many years and losing his wife twice, continued to paint.

He was, in every sense, a person crazed with painting.

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