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Cal High language classes embrace art

Claude+Monet%27s+1868++%22On+the+Bank+of+the+Seine%2C+Bennecourt%2C%22+can+be+seen+at+the+Legion+of+Honor+Museum.+
Claude Monet's 1868

Claude Monet's 1868 "On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt," can be seen at the Legion of Honor Museum.

Photo courtesy of MercuryNews

Photo courtesy of MercuryNews

Claude Monet's 1868 "On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt," can be seen at the Legion of Honor Museum.

Jenna Lyons, Staff Writer

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Both the French and Chinese classes have been turning to art exhibits to further their study of the history and culture of their language.

On Monday April 17, Cal High’s French classes headed to San Francisco to admire the art of one of the most famous French painters, Claude Monet.

Students from all French classes were given the opportunity to participate in this experience.

Those who decided to attend visited the “Monet: The Early Years” exhibition at the Legion of Honor Museum. As the name suggests, this exhibit has paintings from the first years of Monet’s art career, mostly when he was in his 20s.

 It has over sixty art pieces, featuring landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and genre scenes, including some of his most notable pieces of art, “On the Bank of the Seine” and “The Magpie”.

Students who got to visit the exhibition felt that it was an enriching experience.

“It was very interesting because if you look at those paintings they don’t seem like Monet paints because they were before he started the Impressionist movement,” said junior Eleonora Bernardini, “but you can see how he was already starting to go against the rules of the [mid 1800s].”

This exhibition gave students a better look at an important time for French art, the years leading up to the Impressionism movement, and a glance at the culture and traditions of French people during that era.

“It related to the French culture because you can understand the traditions an customs of the French aristocracy, and some of the backgrounds were in France,” said Bernadini.

“Monet: The Early Years” will be on view at the Legion of Honor through May 29, and its successor, “Monet: The Late Years” will go on display in 2019.

The Chinese Honors/AP classes took a similar trip to the Asian Art Museum, also in San Francisco.

There, they saw the progression of ancient art styles in China, as well as art that can be seen throughout Asia.

“I learned a lot about the different art styles throughout Chinese history,” said senior Ellen Lyons. 

The museum also includes exhibits which showcase cultural aspects of ancient China and their customs.

“My favorite part was the room where all of the items nobles were buried with were on display, including their sex toys,” said Lyons.

These art-focused field trips allow students to take a more hands on look at the culture they are learning about in the classroom.

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The School Newspaper for California High School, San Ramon CA
Cal High language classes embrace art