Monet's Ultraviolet "Bee" Vision - Perspectives No. 368
Monet's Ultraviolet "Bee" Vision
Bees and butterflies are the Olympic champions of color vision. Bees and butterflies have five or more color receptor cones allowing their range of vision to extend into the ultraviolet. We humans and especially artists are continually inspired, even awed by, the beauty and grace of flowers. However, we don’t really see them fully, because we can’t. Many of the flowers bees and butterflies pollinate have ultraviolet patterns on their petals, like lights on a runway, to guide their insect friends deep into the flower. There was one well-known human artist who attained a little bit of bee-vision capability. Claude Monet. Here's how it came about.
"My poor eyesight means I see everything as through a fog.
"Monet is only an eye - but what an eye!" - Paul Cezanne
(See more in the series of paintings of Monet's house as seen from the rose garden painted before and after his surgeries here.)
* Carl Zimmer (https://carlzimmer.com)
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