ROMA, COMPLESSO DEL VITTORIANO – ALA BRASINI
19 October 2017 – 11 February 2018
extended to 3 June 2018
Capolavori dal Musée Marmottan Monet, Parigi
A great exhibition entirely dedicated to CLAUDE MONET opens at the Vittoriano in Rome on October 19.
The exhibition includes about sixty paintings which Monet was particularly fond of and which he kept in his last and much-loved home in Giverny: an extraordinary loan from the Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris, an institution that in 2014 celebrated its eightieth anniversary and that holds the most important and extensive collection of works by the French painter, based on the donations from collectors of the time and the painter’s son Michel.
Weeping willows, a path under rose trellises, a Japanese footbridge, monumental water lilies, wisteria flowers, evanescent hazy colours, French countryside, and nature in all its seasons: all subjects the artist handled with striking modernity in the many masterpieces presented in this exhibition such as Portrait of Michel Monet as a Baby (1878-79), Water Lilies (1916-1919), The Roses (1925-1926), and London, Parliament, Reflections on the Thames (1905).
Under the aegis of the Institute for the History of the Italian Risorgimento, the exhibition is promoted by the Capitoline Superintendence for the Artistic Heritage of Rome – Department of Cultural Development, with the patronage of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBACT) and of the Regione Lazio, and has been organized and produced by Gruppo Arthemisia in collaboration with the Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.
Curated by Marianne Mathieu, the art historian deputy-director of Musée Marmottan responsible for the Monet Collection, Monet is an exhibition describing the entire artistic career of the master of Impressionism, from his earliest works – the famous late 1850s caricatures with which he earned his first money making a name for himself in his hometown Le Havre – to his rural and urban landscapes of London, Paris, Vétheuil, Pourville, also including the works he produced in the many places he visited, including Liguria, as testified by the painting of the Castle of Dolceacqua also on display.
The exhibition also includes portraits of Monet’s children and the famous canvases capturing the flowers of his garden, a place the artist knowingly perfected and landscaped through the years: had he not become a painter – Monet confessed – he would have become a gardener, stating that without flowers he would never have taken on painting. The display also comprises Monet’s exceptionally modern depictions of his weeping willows, of the garden path under rose trellises, the Japanese footbridge, and the monumental water lilies dissolving into a violet haze and the dim glow of fog.
Everything has already been written and said about Claude Monet’s paintings – historians and enraptured visitors filled with admiration are to be credited for that – yet Guy de Maupassant’s words still offer a compelling description of what this artist’s “new” and unprecedented style meant for the art world of the time – an art that still leaves viewers breathless today: “Last year, in this town, I often used to follow Claude Monet while searching for his “impressions”. He didn’t act much like a painter but rather like a hunter. He would go followed by children carrying five or six of his canvases all representing the same subject at different times of the day with different light effects. He used to work on them in turn, according to the changes in the sky. Standing before his subject the painter would wait for sunlight and shadows, capturing the sudden ray of sun or the passing cloud with a few strokes of his brush and, defying all things false and conventional, he would rapidly put them down upon the canvas.”
Monet transformed en plein air painting into a life ritual, devoid of any mediation. Working in blazing sunshine or pouring rain, tracking the slightest variations in the weather under the imperious rule of the sun, he transformed colours into pure brushstrokes of energy. In his canvases we see the dispersal of nature’s rational unity into an indistinct, ephemeral yet dazzling flow.
The exhibition shows the many facets of Monet’s production, fully reflecting the value of this great master who through his art was capable of translating nature onto a canvas by capturing its essence and vital spirit. Once again Maupassant’s words are of assistance: “I have seen him capture a scintillating fall of light upon a white rock, fixing it with a pouring of yellow brushstrokes that oddly conveyed the sudden and fleeting effect of this elusive and blinding blaze. Another time he seized a rainstorm beating down upon the sea casting it upon the canvas. And it was truly rain he painted, nothing but rain obscuring waves, rocks, and sky that could just about be seen beneath that deluge”.
The exhibition also includes a re-creation of one of Claude Monet’s famous Water Lilies, the series that changed the history of painting and that was to influence generations of artists to come. In 1958, a terrible fire inside the Museum of Modern Art in New York severely damaged several works: among these was a number Monet’s paintings that were lost forever. Thanks to a unique and ambitious project made possible by the use of highly advanced technology, Sky Arte HD One has been able to re-create one of these masterpieces – Water Lilies (1914-26) –, which is here publicly displayed for the first time.
The captivating story of this painting and the process of its re-creation are the focus of the Sky Arte HD international production entitled Il Mistero dei Capolavori Perduti (The Mystery of the Lost Masterpieces), a series of seven documentaries directed by Giovanni Troilo and co-produced by Ballandi Arts, each dedicated to a lost painting that was either stolen, or accidentally or deliberately destroyed: lost masterpieces that will soon come back to life on Sky Arte HD.
The exhibition counts on mobility partner Honda Auto e Moto, special partner Ricola, technical sponsor Trenitalia, official colour Giotto, icon brand F.I.L.A. Fabbrica Italiana Lapis ed Affini, and media partner Radio Dimensione Suono.
The event is recommended by Sky Arte HD.
The exhibition audio-guides are offered by Generali Italia.
The catalogue is published by Arthemisia Books.
19 October 2017 – 3 June 2018
Full € 15,00 (audio guide included)
Reduced € 13,00 (audio guide included)
Monday to Thursday 9.30 – 19.30
Friday and Saturday 9.30 – 22.00
Sunday 9.30 – 20.30
(ticket office closes one hour before closing time)
Information and booking
T. + 39 06 8715111