See the Luminous Paintings Monet Made During His Many Trips to the French Riviera, Now on View at a Show in Monaco
Monet was first invited by Renoir on a trip to the Riviera in December 1883.
A new exhibition with nearly 100 paintings by Claude Monet spotlights the artist’s trips to the French Riviera beginning with the first visit with his friend Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1883.
The show, titled “Monet in Full Light,” was curated by Marianne Mathieu and is on view at Grimaldi Forum Monaco, a conference center in the sovereign city state along the French Riviera. Three years in the making with the support of the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, it coincides with the 140th anniversary of Monet’s first visit to Monte Carlo and the Riviera.
Monet, then middle-aged, began traveling extensively after death of his first wife, Camille, in 1879. He was invited by Renoir on a trip to the Riviera in December 1883. Their first stop after visiting Paul Cezanne in L’Estaque was Monaco, a place Monet called “the most beautiful spot on the entire Riviera.” The Impressionist painter made two pieces during this first visit that he never exhibited in Paris, as he was then without renown, Mathieu told the news outlet Monaco Life.
Monet returned alone in 1884 and in 1888, visiting Monte-Carlo, Roquebrune, Bordighera and Antibes. He made his famous paintings showing views of the fort in Antibes in all seasons from Salis Beach during his final visit.
Around 60 little-seen works Monet made during this era were shown at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1997.
This is seemingly the first time such a volume of these works has been shown near where he painted them and 23 of them are being exhibited for the first time, according to a news release.
“Monet’s work is very coherent. From his youth in Le Havre, to the last paintings in Giverny, the painter does not try to paint a motif, but rather a moment. Monet does not paint a landscape, but an atmosphere,” Matthieu said in a statement.
The exhibition also reveals new understandings about Monet during this era, including precisely where he put his easels and on which visit his paintings were painted.
Mathieu said Monet painted with “maturity” in his Riviera series, made between 1883 and 1888.
“Monet discovers himself as the painter of the series,” she said, adding, “Let’s not ask what Monet paints but rather when he paints it. Let’s not look for a motif but for a moment.”
See more images from the exhibition below.
“Monet In Full Light” is on view at the Grimaldi Forum Monaco, 10 Av. Princesse Grace, Monaco, through September 3.
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