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Chapter 121 Part 2 - The Mysterious Art Museum

The current Monet is still without his restored vision.

But the instinct of the painter keeps him painting. The blazing water lilies he is now painting represent the world as seen through his diminished sight. He was never a painter who relied solely on imagination; this must be what he sees now.

I gesture to Leah to be quiet for now and then speak to Monet.

"It's a wonderful painting."


Monet, silently staring at his own painting, finally speaks.

"A good painter imitates nature, but a bad painter vomits it out. It seems I am not a good painter right now."

"No, you are, sir. It is quite beautiful. But I heard rumors that you only paint water lilies."

Monet looks around his garden with a smile.

"That's because I don't go out. For me, painting is just another way of writing a diary."

Monet picks up his brush again and says,

"People can only see what they observe, and they only observe what already exists in their minds. But if you can imagine it, it's already real. Here, I observe, imagine, and paint."

Monet, wearing sunglasses, bathes in the sunlight.

I suddenly worry about him. It's a good time to rest in the dark.

"Maybe you can paint that later? You seem to need a rest now, sir."

Monet smiles gently, looking at his painting.

"If I were sitting in a corner writing a diary just for myself, I might."

"What do you mean?"

"Art is not about what you see, but about making others see. My diary is for those who come to see my paintings. Like you, they visit regardless of the time."


His words pierce my heart.

'It's not about seeing for oneself, but making others see. How simple and clear.'

I know that too.

But living those simple words is a hard task.

Seeing that I don't respond, Monet, sensing that I'm lost in thought, continues painting without disturbing my musings, a fellow artist's empathy.

After a while, I speak.

"Sometimes I get confused."

"What about?"

"The painters in my world paint their inner selves."

"Every painter paints their inner self."

"But those expressions are not for others, but for themselves. There are many incomprehensible paintings."

"Such paintings are destined to be forgotten, aren't they?"

An obvious statement from someone who knows nothing about contemporary art.

Unsure how to explain, I scratch my head.

"Haha, indeed."

Monet stops painting and turns to me.

"Is that how art is in your country?"

Ah, that's how I can explain it. Since artistic exchange between East and West isn't active during this period, if I say Eastern paintings are like that, it would make sense.


"What do they usually paint?"

"Emotions, and they struggle to paint something invisible."

Monet quietly looks at the pond and laughs.

"My friend Renoir used to say this. A painting should be joyful and pleasant. Why deliberately paint something unpleasant in a world already full of unpleasant things?"


There's no need to deliberately paint something unattractive.

There couldn't be a clearer answer for me, tired of contemporary art.

"That's true."

Monet nods deeply, looking at me for a moment. Realizing that I'm different from the artists of his age, he puts his brush on the palette and turns to me.

"Are you scared?"


His question is vague, but I understand what he's asking.

Whether I'm afraid of challenging the mainstream art of my time or worried about living in poverty if not recognized.

"I am scared. I have a family, and I need to protect them."

Monet smiles.

"A young painter should not fear mistakes. Painting, after all, is about the most absurd adventures and constant exploration. What if you wander? With each wandering, you grow. One day, that growth will lead your family to a more comfortable life. Look here."

At his words, I look around his vast garden.

"I was very poor once. I even discarded my paintings to make money. But that only gave me a little money. The real world recognized me when I abandoned everything and created my own. It was something far from mainstream culture, and I was ridiculed. But I didn't give up."

Looking at the beautiful garden as I listen to his words.

The maestro's wise words harmonize with the beautiful garden.

"And by not giving up, I was able to live in this beautiful house."

I close my eyes and ask.

"Should I do art for people from now on?"

Monet is silent for a while.

Waiting for his answer, I open my eyes to see him leaning forward.

Through his sunglasses, his eyes, hard to discern their color, look at me and say,

"Remember one thing. To move others, you must first be moved yourself. If not, no matter how intricate the work, it will never have life."

Monet gestures toward the garden and continues.

"When you paint, there will be times when you find something beautiful. Then, erase it and repaint it several times. Erasing is the process of changing the shape and adding more to complete the beauty. Dream of painting, and while painting, dream."

Monet takes my hand and says,

"And one more thing. Never forget. A true artist is not one who receives inspiration, but one who gives it."

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