2016 Must see Exhibition – Painting the Modern garden: Monet to Matisse
For anyone who loves any aspect of a garden and Impressionist paintings Painting the Modern garden: Monet to Matisse, which opens at the Royal Academy on 30 January is a must-see. The exhibition explores the theme of the garden. Starting with the earliest works of Monet and Renoir, paintings also include Impressionist visions of light and atmosphere, Symbolist evocations of imagined realities, and avant-garde experimentation including sanctuaries of healing.
A quarter of the 120 exhibits are by Monet but there are also paintings by another 50 world famous artists among them Vincent Van Gogh, Edward Munch, and Matisse.
Covering the early 1860s through to the 1920s, the theme of the exhibition deals with the artists’ fascination with the ever-changing horticultural world, which inspired innovation. From the latter part of the nineteenth century, artists began to treat their gardens as outdoor studios, with the paintings showing a wide variety of gardens.
Throughout his life Monet cultivated gardens with several inspired by the Mediterranean. Looking at the colours in these paintings reminded me of my recent visit to Tenerife. The garden at Giverny in France, however was Monet’s greatest creation in both the garden and the paintings that were inspired by it. The final room brings together his triptych of Water Lilies (Agapanthus) for the first time in Europe, the paintings having been sold individually.
As part of the ‘Exhibition on Screen’ series, a film examining the role of the garden in art history will be in cinemas from April 12. Viewers will be able to see some of the gardens together with the artwork they inspired. Interviews with modern artists reveal how the relationship between the artist and the natural world continues to flourish.
Events are being held throughout the exhibition including free lunchtime talks. (Seats need to be reserved.)
The exhibition runs from 30 January – 20 April, 2016 10am – 6pm Fridays to 10pm
£17.60. Children under 16 free.
http://www.royalacademy.org.uk T. 020 7300 8090
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J OBD.