MONET AND CATARACTS by Dr. Martha Jay, Milwaukee Area Ophthalmologist

By admin
May 29, 2011

The left two images are actual Monet paintings from before his cataract surgery. The right two simulate his vision at that time.

An added benefit from cataract surgery is an improvement in color vision:  Blues are more vivid and whites are whiter after the procedure.  This is because living with cataracts is like wearing dark brown sunglasses.  Imagine that you are a brilliant impressionist painter and cataract surgery was much more risky than it is today.  That is the dilemma that Claude Monet faced in the 1920’s.  His could hardly see the “large E” on the eye chart and complained that he could not tell the difference between browns and blues.

Monet finally consented to cataract surgery in about 1922.  Cataract surgery at that time little resembled the 10 minute out-patient procedure of today.  There were no lens implants so even after the surgery patients had to wear very thick glasses to see.  Despite those limitations, Monet was amazed at the transformation of his vision after the procedure.  There is a museum in Paris with paintings from before and after his surgery that show the remarkable change in his sense of color (Musee Marmottan).

At the left are some examples of two paintings done before his surgery and a photo-simulation of Monet’s vision through dense cataracts.  Monet even went so far as to destroy many of his paintings done while his vision was impaired but fortunately family and friends saved them.

Is the world looking a bit dingy? Maybe it’s time to consider cataract surgery.  Call for a consultation.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

Martha F. Jay, Ph.D., M.D.

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalmologist in the Milwaukee Area.  She specializes in small incision cataract surgery and blade-free cataract surgery with premium lens implants.  She also treats patients with glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, dry eyes and much more.  Her colleagues at Lakeshore Eye Care are Dr. Mark German and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto.

For more information about eye care and other Blog postings, visit our web site at or call 262-241-1919 for an appointment.

Lakeshore Eye Care has two offices in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin: One in Mequon and the other in Saukville.

Cataracts: Symptoms and Treatment, Dr. Martha Jay's Blogs, Medical and Surgical Eye Care, Our Doctor's Blogs


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