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This is one of my narrative stories for TV series "The World Picture Gallery with Aunt Owl" (MASKI Production Co.). This educational animated series was represented in Cannes, in TV Market MIPCOM in October, 2007.

CLAUDE MONET. THE AIRY BOAT

by Alexander Kalinkin
Genre: Educational, Fairy Tales, Art
Run Time: 10 minutes


THE OWL: Greetings, my dear friends! We are once more in the World Picture Gallery. Today, I, the aunt Owl, will be telling you about remarkable paintings done by the famous French artist Claude Monet.

Claude Oscar Monet was born in the year of 1840 in Paris, France. His father had a small grocery store where different goods were for sale. He supposed that his son would continue his trade. However another fate awaited Claude. Since primary school he'd had a great interest in painting. The young artist tried his best and even took additional lessons. This interest of the boy was supported by his aunt Jeanne- Margarita, who also liked drawing. Claude had grown up as a cheerful happy youth. His first pictures were caricatures – funny portraits of his friends and acquaintances. He had a gift to notice in people and in nature something special and to reflect it on canvas with his brush. Look, how jolly he painted himself in this self- portrait!

Claude Monet - Self-portrait

Step by step Monet became a Master. He saw things, to which people rarely paid attention. In his paintings an ordinary haystack starts to play with colors and a sunrise glimmers like red coal in a gray mist.

Claude Monet - Sunrise

Let us try to look at the world through eyes of the great artist and learn to see beauty in things, which seem to be ordinary. A story that once happened to a boy will help us in this way…

Claude Monet - Anemones

The boy was called Jean. While Jean was very little, he lay in his cradle and examined his light room, curtains, kind faces of mom and a nanny, and sometimes the smiling face of his father. His father was a seafaring captain!

Claude Monet - Jean Monet in a cradle

The boy grew fast. Many amusing toys surrounded him – tin soldiers, a wooden saber, an old telescope and a hobbyhorse, on which he could ride both in his home and in the garden.

Claude Monet - The portrait of the son

When Jean became older, his Mom let him go to a river to fish with other boys.

Claude Monet - A berth in Trouville

But most often he spent time just playing nearby home or walked with his Mom by flowered garden paths,

Claude Monet - A garden path

surrounding fields and hills. Once they went out to a steep bank and stopped there, peering into the river distance. Somewhere far away, where the river flows into the sea, the boy's father sailed a big ship. Little Jean missed him and dreamed that one day he too would sail across the sea to astonishing countries.

Claude Monet - Camilla Monet and her son Jean on a hill

Once in the afternoon Mom settled to read a book in the garden, under a branchy old oak. Jean played nearby as usual.

Claude Monet - Camila is reading

Playing the boy ran farther and farther till finally he reached the edge of the garden. Jean was sure that he knew the garden very well and visited every place, however this one looked unfamiliar to him.

Claude Monet - Irises

A path leads the boy to the river that was drowsy under the hot sun, reflecting green banks and the blue sky with fluffy white clouds. The clouds resembled ships and the sky seemed to be a sea. Jean admired them.

Claude Monet - A bridge

Suddenly a breeze carried one of the clouds right towards Jean. The boy was amazed. He stared at how the cloud was turning into the form of a sailing boat – not a big one, but real! Now the boat was just in front of him. It looked small, light, and airy, with a nice wide white sail. The boat reached the bank. The boy ran to it and jumped onto its deck. The light airy vessel cast off and sailed.

Claude Monet - A sailing ship in La Ptee Jeanevillere

The current and the wind playfully carried the boat along the banks but Jean didn't recognize either the tall poplars,

Claude Monet - Poplars

nor the small houses. Everything seemed to be new and unusual!

Claude Monet - Zaan in Zaandam

The boat entered into a city. Here the waters flowed right along the streets. Beautiful elegant buildings were passing by Jean's eyes…

Claude Monet - Palatzio Mullo in Venice

Meanwhile Mom diverted her attention from the book and looked around. Her boy wasn't near. She called him but in vain. Jean was gone. Mom went around the garden and didn't find him.

Claude Monet - A woman in a garden

She came to the river. Pensive lilies were rocking on the water. Mom asked if they had seen Jean. But the lilies didn't answer her – they stopped rocking and became more pensive.

Claude Monet - Nenewfarres

Then Mom walked along the bank. She met some resting fishing boats. They looked so tired that Mom didn't ask them anything.

Claude Monet - Fishing boats

Suddenly she remembered about a poplar tree lined path where she and Jean liked walking. The Poplars met her cheerfully like good friends. Mom shared her sorrow and asked them if they had seen her son. The Poplars began to rustle: "We'd seen him. We'll help you." A light fluff flew from a branch. The wind caught it up, whirled it and carried it above sun-lit field…

Claude Monet - Poplars in sunlight

Meantime Jean's boat stopped in front of a beautiful cathedral. Jean liked it very much. But why did the boat stop here? Suddenly a poplar tree fluff started to dance nearby. It was all white, light and lovely… It caused Jean to think of his Mom in her lovely white dress. "What have I done?! She will seek me and probably she is looking for me already! How can I find the way back?"

Claude Monet - Ruan Cathedral

The boat sensed his wish. Just a moment passed and then they flew up high above the street, so that people beneath them turned into small dots. Jean gave a gasp! Yet the airy boat hurried towards his home already.

Claude Monet - The capucines boulevard

The city ended soon. Beneath them fields were stretching out like motley carpets. Some of them were planted with flowers. Whole fields of flowers! The boat lowered a bit and Jean picked up small bouquet for Mom.

Claude Monet - Tulips of Holland

Jean's white boat flew to the bank, let him out and disappeared in a wind gust. On the hill, up the steep bank Mom stood! Jean ran up to her waving the flower bouquet!

Claude Monet - A woman with an umbrella

There was so much joy! Mom didn't scold Jean. She didn't believe his story about the unusual adventure, but she asked him to not go so far any more. It upset Jean a little. He decided to not distress Mom anymore, however he often thought about the airy boat and how the path, which had led him to the river, had mysteriously disappeared somewhere!

Claude Monet - Peons

When Jean grew up, he did became a sea captain as his father and saw many interesting countries.

Claude Monet - Mouth of Sien

Captain Jean's house was situated right on the bank of a river. He kept a white boat nearby, it always reminded him of the airy boat of his childhood!

Claude Monet - A sailing ship

This story happened to the boy, Jean. We know it thanks to the pictures of the French artist Claude Oscar Monet! Do you like the story? And pictures? Great! If you, children, would wish to learn more about the remarkable artist Claude Monet, then don't be lazy – browse albums with his paintings, visit an art museum or have a look at an encyclopedia. Believe me – it is really worth seeing!

Well, our lesson, friends, is complete. Till the next time when there will be new fairy tales and new pictures! Bye-bye! You will be welcome to our Art Gallery!

(C) 2008 Maski Production Company
The script is published here with permission of the copyright owner - the MASKI Production Co. and the producer Sergey Zarev.


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