Monet in Normandy  

redmustang91 57M  
8703 posts
7/3/2006 11:10 pm

Last Read:
7/5/2006 4:38 am

Monet in Normandy


visited Sf over the fourth weekend. Not crowded and fun as it was cooler than so. Cal.

Saw this great exhibit of Monet works from his period in Normandy. If you like the work of this great French impressionist it is a must see. pretty views of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Legion of Honor bldg too.

Legion of Honor, San Francisco
17 June‒17 September 2006

San Francisco, 29 March 2006 -- The fifty-three splendid impressionist paintings by Claude Monet that are on view in this exhibition are part of the artist’s Norman oeuvre, which defined modern Normandy at the turn of the century not only for the French but also for the world. Monet’s central and enduring artistic relationship with Normandy has never before been the focus of a scholarly exhibition, and Monet in Normandy marks the first comprehensive presentation of this essential aspect of his artistic career.

The paintings in Monet in Normandy were created from the 1860s through the mid-1920s and trace the fullness and complexity of Monet’s “image” of Normandy -- its beaches, villages, rivers, agriculture, and tourist industries, as well as the grandeur and historical importance of its capital city, Rouen. The exhibition culminates with paintings Monet made of the area around Giverny and of his own water gardens at his Giverny home.

The presentation at the Legion of Honor of Monet in Normandy is the first of only three venues for this international exhibition. Following its showing in San Francisco, the exhibition will be on view at the Fine Arts Museums’ organizing partners: the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, and The Cleveland Museum of Art.

Each of the three organizing museums has made major loans of Norman paintings by Monet to the exhibition. The numerous additional significant lenders include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Art, Boston; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, Williamstown; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée Malraux, Le Havre; the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; the Kunsthaus Zurich; and a number of private collectors.

Claude Monet and Normandy: A Lifetime of Sublime Inspiration
Claude Monet (1840-1926) was born in Paris but spent most of his life in Normandy. His art reflects his special relationship with this northern countryside and its topographical features, its towns and villages, and the seasonal rhythms of the region. He drew artistic inspiration from these subjects and returned to them throughout his career. Of particular interest is his interpretation of the ephemeral variations of weather, light, and color specific to the Norman countryside, and the sparkling, endlessly shifting bodies of water found in Normandy. Monet made magical images of the bustling commercial harbor at Le Havre, the scenery along the Seine or beside other quiet river banks, such as the Epte, and, most dramatically, the crashing waves at Etretat. Man-made monuments, such as the Rouen Cathedral, also figure in Monet’s repertoire and are represented in Monet in Normandy.

Normandy was the first region of France to be intensively exploited as a site of tourism. Even in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, painters and draftsmen from France and Britain visited its farming communities, fishing villages, and regional cities in search of picturesque, sublime, or historically significant motifs, and Normandy all but dominated the “Voyages pittoresques” of the 1830s. Monet in Normandy demonstrates that Monet was conversant in the pictorial traditions of his native Normandy and was nurtured in its artistic community. The area’s natural scenic beauty provided subjects particularly well-suited to the interests of a painter such as he, who was fascinated by the ephemeral effects of light, atmosphere, time, and season. First transcribing and finally mythologizing the Norman countryside, Monet explored the region’s pictorial natural and man-made motifs.

The exhibition includes paintings from throughout his long career: early works painted along the north coast of Normandy in the 1860s, the “honeymoon” paintings of Trouville painted in 1870; and paintings resulting from his rediscovery of the coast in the 1880s. Paintings from both of Monet’s important pictorial campaigns in Rouen in 1872‒1873 and 1891‒1893 are also included. In the 1890s, Monet used several iconic motifs of the Norman region–Rouen cathedral, the Seine, grain stacks, and stands of poplars among others–as vehicles for his bold compositional experiments and intensifying chromatic range, and stunning works represent these important subjects. An important group of Monet’s north coast seascapes of the late 1890s are featured as well; they deal with elements of myth and memory in his Norman oeuvre. A number of his sun-drenched field paintings depicting the Giverny environs serve as a counter balance to the breezy seaside images that have, until now, dominated the popular idea of Monet’s Normandy. The inclusion of these works serves to recognize that Giverny is the southern gateway to Normandy from Paris -- and not part of the Ile de France, to which it is often related. The final sequence of canvases in Monet in Normandy showcases subjects of the artist’s own creation: his luminous images of his carefully choreographed water gardens at Giverny, which monopolized his energies until his death in 1926.

rm_KarmoHunny 54F
888 posts
7/4/2006 12:21 am

I've never seen Monet but did see a great Degas exhibit. It was thoroughly enjoyable!


redmustang91 57M  
8568 posts
7/5/2006 4:38 am

Monets are fab and worth a visit. Go early to avoid the crowds...


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