Claude Monet, who was born in 1840 and died in 1926, is one of the most famous French painters. He left his indelible mark on the Impressionist movement. Reflections and his specially selected colors are the hallmarks of his painting. Impressionist art focuses on the interaction of light, shadow and colors instead of portraying objects. His painting entitled “Impression, soleil levant” from 1872 gave the entire movement its name.
Who would ever have thought that this outstanding artist had serious problems with his eyes? Claude Monet was nearsighted and suffered from cataracts. He hesitated about having surgery for a long time before eventually making the decision in 1923. Afterwards, he purchased two pairs of glasses from eye doctor E.B. Meyrowitz near the Place Vendôme in Paris.
These glasses featured glass lenses from ZEISS. One pair had clear and the other tinted lenses, each in tortoiseshell frames. These lenses were called Katral.
ZEISS started producing Katral lenses for patients who had undergone cataract surgery in a complex production process in 1912. They cost the equivalent of the rent charged for a four-room luxury apartment in a major European city at the time. As a relatively affluent painter, Claude Monet was able to afford these lenses in the later years of his life. They enabled him to pursue his artistic endeavors with even more fervor and enthusiasm than ever before. He suddenly saw that the colors he had been using until then had been too dull and promptly chose brighter ones.