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Currently showing at the Vancouver Art Gallery – it’s only stop in North America – Claude Monet Secret Garden features one of the most comprehensive collections of the celebrated French painter’s works seen in Canada in last two decades.
Monet, who has often been described as the father of impressionism, shaped the course of western art history. Even today, his singular and daring vision remains fresh and vital. His phenomenal body of work, including the iconic paintings he produced at his garden home in Giverny, the small village in northern France he called home from 1883 to the end of his life in 1926, exudes vibrancy and light and continues to beguile modern audiences almost 100 years after his death.
Above photo: On the Beach at Trouville, 1870-71 (oil on canvas) by Claude Monet (1840-1926) Musee Marmottan, Paris Photo © Bridgeman Giraudon/Press
The Artist’s Garden
Monet’s garden was one of his lifelong passions. He was a devoted gardener, collecting horticulture books and conversing with other green thumbs. He treated his garden as a composition, striving for a harmony of colors, forms and textures, and it became the central inspiration for many of his paintings. His depictions of waterlilies, weeping willows and the famed Japanese bridge have become some of the most iconic images of modern art.
Today, Monet’s garden is open the public and is one of the most visited sites in France.
Painting Momentary Impressions
This exhibition of 38 paintings traces Monet’s career with the impressionist group of painters who moved from historical subject matter and began focusing on the world around them. As the European continent was entering the industrialized era and becoming increasingly urbanized, Monet began to paint images illustrating the social, cultural and environmental changes taking place.
One of my favorite paintings on display, Sur la plage à Trouville, is a wonderful example of Monet’s interest in the modern world. The beach scene features a pair of stylish women from Paris, the capital of fashion world during the impressionist period
As you enter the first exhibition hall, you will notice that all of the paintings are small which is a result of Monet and his fellow impressionists taking their work outdoors. Traveling through the countryside to capture scenes of life in France required carrying smaller canvases instead of the larger ones used in artists’ studios.
From steam trains to rippling waterscapes, Monet captures his subject matter with a keen sensitivity to transience and movement. His appreciation of light and nature makes Monet’s works so unique in modern art history and so beloved by the general public.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view an unparalleled collection from the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris. Monet’s career spanned over 60 years and continually overturned conventions as he experimented with new ways of rendering the world. This unmissable exhibition of Claude Monet Secret Garden is evidence of his transformative influence on European painting which paved the way for avant-garde modernist art movements throughout the 20th century.
Claude Monet Secret Garden
On view until October 1, 2017
Tickets: Adult $25
Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily