Did you know …

… that Monet created his vibrant colours with the aid of ZEISS lenses?

Part 9: Did you know …

… that Monet created his vibrant colours with the aid of ZEISS lenses?

The great Impressionist painter Claude Monet was shortsighted – and had cataracts as well. In 1923 he underwent cataract surgery, and then bought new spectacles featuring special ZEISS “Katral” lenses designed for cataract patients. With the new lenses Monet was finally able to see what his paintings really looked like – and he was disappointed by the dull colours he now perceived. He immediately started painting over many of his completed pictures with brighter colours – even his marvellous water lily paintings, whose freshness and clarity still enchant us to this very day.

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 colours are the hallmarks of his painting. Impressionist art focuses on the interaction of light, shadow and colours 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 shortsighted and suffered from cataract. He hesitated about having surgery for a long time before eventually making the decision in 1923. Afterwards, he purchased two pairs of spectacles from optician E.B. Meyrowitz near La Place Vendôme in Paris.

These spectacles 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 endeavours with even more fervour and enthusiasm than ever before. He suddenly saw that the colours he had been using until then had been too dull and promptly chose brighter ones.

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The treatment of cataract today

Cataract is seen as the most common cause of blindness all over the world. It general affects people in old age. The disease leads to clouding of the lens in the eye, with the result that sufferers feel as if they are looking through a veil or curtain. It can cause total blindness if left untreated.

Today, however, cataract therapy is easier and more effective than ever before. In an uncomplicated procedure the lens of the eye is removed and a lens implant known as an intraocular lens is inserted. The two eyes are operated on separately. Leading-edge technology from ZEISS is used for the diagnosis, implantation and therapy of the condition.

The ZEISS product range still includes cataract spectacles, but in actual fact they are no longer necessary. The patient can simultaneously wear spectacles containing any remaining prescription power that they require. The optician will fit these in the normal way.

More on ZEISS technology for cataract treatment

ZEISS Cataract Suite – the complete cataract portfolio

Today, you want to provide excellent outcomes for your patients using the latest technology that fits your practice. The cataract workflow involves many different steps and devices, from diagnosis to post surgery. What if these products worked together to make this process faster, more efficient and precise?

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