See How Monet’s Late-Career Obsession With Water Lilies Led Him to Create Some of the Best Paintings of His Life

An exhibition at the Kimbell Art Museum offers American a rare chance to revel in the beauty of his late style.

Claude Monet in front of his house in Giverny, 1921. Photo Courtesy of Musee d'Orsay, Paris and Kimbell Art Museum.
Claude Monet in front of his house in Giverny, 1921. Photo Courtesy of Musee d'Orsay, Paris and Kimbell Art Museum.

“Monet: The Late Years”

Kimbell Art Museum, on view through September 15, 2019

 

What the Museum Says“Through 52 paintings, the exhibition will trace the evolution of Monet’s practice from 1913, when he embarked on a reinvention of his painting style that led to increasingly bold and abstract works, up to his death in 1926. Assembled from major public and private collections in Europe, the United States, and Asia, including holdings from the Kimbell Art Museum and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, ‘Monet: The Late Years’ will include more than twenty examples of Monet’s beloved water-lily paintings.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: Among museums around the world, only the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris allows a rich, deep look into Monet’s infatuation with, and devotion to, painting his beloved water lilies. That’s what makes this show at the Kimbell such a rare treat. The exhibition presents his work chronologically—which is especially interesting considering that the artist died in 1926, long after the advents of Cubism, Fauvism, Neoplasticism, Futurism, etc. Monet would have been aware of these developments, which snuck their influence into his work through the back door, enlivening his paintings in his final years.

What It Looks Like:

Claude Monet, <i>The Japanese Bridge</i> (1918). ©Musee Marmottan, Paris, France/ The Bridgeman Art Library.

Claude Monet, The Japanese Bridge (1918). © Musee Marmottan, Paris, France/The Bridgeman Art Library.

Claude Monet, <I>Wisteria</i> (1919-20). ©Musee Marmottan, Paris, France/ The Bridgeman Art Library.

Claude Monet, Wisteria (1919–20). © Musee Marmottan, Paris, France/The Bridgeman Art Library.

Claude Monet, <i>Water Lilies (Agapanthus)</i> (c.1915-26). Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri, USA; Courtesy of Kimbell Art Museum.

Claude Monet, Water Lilies (Agapanthus) (c.1915–26). Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri, USA; Courtesy of Kimbell Art Museum.

Claude Monet, <i>The Artist's House from the Rose Garden</i> (1922-24). Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris.

Claude Monet, The Artist’s House from the Rose Garden (1922–24). Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris.

Claude Monet, <i>The Artist's House from the Rose Garden</i> (1922-24). Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris.

Claude Monet, The Artist’s House from the Rose Garden (1922–24). Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris.

Claude Monet, <i>Water Lilies</i> (ca. 1914-17). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Courtesy of Kimbell Art Museum.

Claude Monet, Water Lilies (ca. 1914–17). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Courtesy of Kimbell Art Museum.

Claude Monet, The Japanese Footbridge (1899). Courtesy the National Gallery of Art.

Claude Monet, <i>Water Lily Pond</i> (1917-19). The Art Institute of Chicago.

Claude Monet, Water Lily Pond (1917–19). The Art Institute of Chicago.

Claude Monet, <I>Weeping Willow and Water Lily Pond</i> (1916-19). Courtesy of Kimbell Art Museum.

Claude Monet, Weeping Willow and Water Lily Pond (1916-19). Courtesy of Kimbell Art Museum.

Installation view of "Monet: The Late Years" at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Courtesy of the museum.

Installation view of “Monet: The Late Years” at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Courtesy of the museum.

Installation view of "Monet: The Late Years" at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Courtesy of the museum.

Installation view of “Monet: The Late Years” at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Courtesy of the museum.

Installation view of "Monet: The Late Years" at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Courtesy of the museum.

Installation view of “Monet: The Late Years” at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Courtesy of the museum.

Installation view of "Monet: The Late Years" at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Courtesy of the museum.

Installation view of “Monet: The Late Years” at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Courtesy of the museum.


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