|Springtime Through the Branches (courtesy Claude Monet Gallery)|
This painting of the Clichy region of Paris appealed to me in it's composition (and as a chess player who has played at the annual Clichy Open, it took me back to the time I was there). In fact, the philosophy of Monet seems to be for the artist to provide an experience for the audience, and his paintings are images of light and movement. Looking at the image above, the trees in the foreground aren't still, and Monet's beautiful brush work helps us to feel the breeze that he obviously felt while painting this scene.
Monet is best known for the paintings of his gardens at Giverny, the Japanese Bridge and the water lillies series. Seeing so many of these in the exhibition gave us a great feel for this amazing garden, and the final room had a fantastic wraparound film of the last day of the season of his garden. Seeing the house with its distinctive green shutters, the overhanging archway for his rose garden, the lake with lillies and bridge, gave the exhibition and Monet's paintings of his garden a context, and gave us, the audience, a chance to see his inspiration.
The vibrant reflections that make the lake and water lillies so wonderful, and the use of light and texture were major themes of the exhibition. Earlier in his life, Monet spent time in London which he loved because of the fog: ‘I love London much more than the English countryside; yes I adore London … but what I love more than anything is the fog’
|Reflections on the Thames (courtesy of allposters.com)|