The National Gallery, London recently put up a ‘game-changing exhibition’ as quoted by The Guardian, where after 20 long years, an exhibition in the UK featured only Monet. Titled ‘Monet and Architecture’, the gallery displayed 75 paintings, solely focused upon his study of architecture and presented his work in a new light. The exhibition is now shut but the gallery is a must visit.
Even if you can’t go see it, we give you 5 places you must visit if you love Monet. Each of these has been an integral part of his art journey
Giverny - France
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Monet spent the last two decades of his life in Giverny, a small French village, where he created his own water garden with a massive water lily pond and a quaint Japanese bridge. This garden was the inspiration for about 250 oil paintings over the years and while today these paintings are critically acclaimed as masterpieces, they were subject to heavy criticism during Monet’s lifetime. The collection itself is sprawled across the world in parts, with Musee de l’Orangerie, Paris, being a notable location, but there is nothing more fascinating than visiting the garden itself. Giverny is located 80 kilometres north of Paris and can be reached by car or even by train. The garden is open from end March to November, but spring (May - June) is usually the best time to visit. Pre-booking tickets online is also recommended in order to avoid long queues! While the Water Garden is the main attraction in the village, there are also multiple cafes, galleries, museums to explore!
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While Monet’s works are displayed at museums across the world, Paris is home to a large collection of his paintings. Notably ‘Musee d’Orsay, which houses about 88 paintings by the celebrated artist. ‘The Marmottan-Monet Museum, with the largest collection of Monet in the world - 150 pieces, and ‘The Orangerie Museum’, located in the popular Tuileries Garden. Additionally, the Gare Saint Lazare, and the Park Monceau Park, were both immortalized by him through a series of paintings. The ‘City Of Lights’, was significant in Monet's life, because not only was he born there, but also because he travelled back there time and again to pursue the arts and expand the impressionist movement.
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Monet spent a couple of months in Venice, towards the end of the year 1908, and while most of the works he did during that time were merely samples and were later on completed back in his studio, he was, unexpectedly inspired by the city. He began his days at the San Giorgio Maggiore and after lunch painted the Palazzo da Mula. Eventually, along with his wife Alice, he started living in the Grand Hotel Britannia; he loved the view of the canal from his hotel window.
Monet’s time in London, right at the beginning of the 20th Century was characterized by his multiple oil paintings of the Houses of Parliament, which he captured from two primary locations. The first one is a covered terrace on the South Bank and the second being his room at ‘The Savoy’. These paintings were accompanied by letters, written to his wife Alice, where he said, ‘I find London lovelier to paint each day.’
Monet has featured the Rouen Cathedral in about 30 different paintings. Each of these highlights either, a different angle, perspective, light condition or weather situation with the cathedral as the focus. Rouen is located about 135 km’s to the North West of Paris and is an easy day trip, only a one-hour train ride away.
Sketch out a trip to these places, make a plan soon and explore what the world has to offer!
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