28 June 2018

Monet & Architecture

The impressionist artist Claude Monet (1840-1926) is best known for his brilliant landscape paintings of the French countryside and coastline, and peaceful scenes from his Giverny garden - including the stunning waterlilies series - but there's an excellent landmark exhibition at the National Gallery focusing on his work featuring architecture as a way to add structure to his art.

View of Bordighera (1884) by Claude Monet - UK culture blog

The Monet & Architecture exhibition runs until 29 July, presenting 78 canvases featuring this overlooked aspect of his work - in fact, he painted buildings, bridges and landmarks for five decades of his illustrious 60 year long career.  The man wasn't just about the nymphĂ©as...

On the Boardwalk at Trouville (1870) by Claude Monet - UK culture blog
On the Boardwalk at Trouville (1870)

From celebrated monuments, bustling cityscapes and renowned architecture to train stations, clifftop cottages and village churches, the exhibition travels across Europe with Dutch windmills, the Grand Canal in Venice at dusk, suburban Paris, the Houses of Parliament in London's grimy fog, and Rouen cathedral bathed in sunlight in his native Normandy.  He approaches the subject matter with the same masterful sensibility to atmosphere, mainly painting en plein air as usual, capturing the ever-changing weather and light across buildings, bridges, and water.

The ball-shaped Tree, Argenteuil (1876) by Claude Monet - UK culture blog
The ball-shaped Tree, Argenteuil (1876)

Monet is my favourite artist, and I can look at his water reflections, dappled lighting, and dreamy skies all day.  This exhibition presents a new way of seeing his work and it's the first purely Monet exhibition in London for over twenty years - don't miss it.

Monet & Architecture is on until 29 July at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
Browse other culture posts & London features

Rouen Cathedral (1894) by Claude Monet - UK culture blog
Rouen Cathedral (1894)

The Church at Vetheuil (1878-9) by Claude Monet - UK culture blog
The Church at Vetheuil (1878-9)

"Other painters paint a bridge, a house, a boat… I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat - the beauty of the light in which they exist." (Claude Monet, 1895)

The Cliff at Varengeville (1882) by Claude Monet - UK culture blog
The Cliff at Varengeville (1882)

The Rue Montorgueil, Paris, The National Holiday of 30 June (1878) by Claude Monet - UK culture blog
The Rue Montorgueil, Paris, The National Holiday of 30 June (1878) (where I lived in Paris!)

View of Amsterdam (1874) by Claude Monet - UK culture blog
View of Amsterdam (1874)
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