Museum Stories

A Floating World of Claude Monet

Zuzanna Stańska 9 November 2018 min Read

One of my greatest surprises of 2018 is Albertina’s monographic exhibition of Claude Monet. My astonishment was caused only by my bias – it’s obvious that Albertina usually organizes fantastic exhibitions, but Monet in Vienna? It didn’t ring a bell. As it turned out, this exhibition is one of the most interesting about the “Master of Light” I have ever seen.

claude monet albertina Claude Monet, Young Girls in a Rowing Boat, 1887, The NAtional Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
Claude Monet, Young Girls in a Rowing Boat, 1887, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo

My first surprise was how huge it is. Realized with the generous support of the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, it presents nearly 100 paintings, among which there are not only the widely known masterpieces from Paris but also the ones from unknown, often private collections. They all illuminate Monet’s development from Realism to Impressionism to what after Monet’s death would be called “abstract”.

claude monet albertina Claude Monet, The Red Kerchief, Portrait of Mrs. Monet, 1873, The Cleveland Museum of Art
Claude Monet, The Red Kerchief, Portrait of Mrs. Monet, 1873, The Cleveland Museum of Art

The curators lead us along the Seine, pausing at various stations of his life: Paris, where Monet captured the pulse of modern life with flickering light; Argenteuil, where he reconciled nature and technology; Vétheuil, where in the face of his precarious financial and family situation, he withdrew into solitude to devote himself to unspoiled and original nature; and finally in Giverny, where he arrived at a new aesthetic concept that led Impressionism out of its crisis and paved the way for modern painting.

 claude monet albertina claude monet boulevard des capucines, 1873, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow
Claude Monet, Boulevard des Capucines, 1873, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow

Of course we also see the cliffs of Normandy, the series of paintings of a Creuse, the British Parliament or Rouen Cathedral and as a huge finale of the world-famous water lily paintings. The visitors also can find some paintings of the painted by almost blind, over 80-years-old painter. The colors become dark, autumnal, the surfaces increasingly replaced by lines. As the director of the Albertina Klaus Albrecht Schröder described them: Comparable with the late work of the deaf Beethoven. They clearly point to the next epoch of art history, the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, or a Joan Mitchell (which is a different story, told lately by Musée Orangerie in The Water Lilies. American Abstract Painting and the last Monet exhibition).

claude monet albertina Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1908, Callimanopulos Collection
Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1908, Callimanopulos Collection

The river is the key here. It means the floating world of the Japanese woodblock prints that influenced Monet; the coalescing of water, mist, fog, snow, and ice; the colours that change with the weather and lighting conditions; the reflections on the water surface.

Everything we love about Monet in a surprising selection.

The exhibition is on view in Albertina from 21 September 2018 until 6 January 2019. You can learn more about it here.

Find out more:

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”160″ identifier=”377743096X” locale=”DE” src=”https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/61Dfbi7yODL.SL160.jpg” tag=”dail017-21″ width=”139″]

[easyazon_image align=”none” height=”110″ identifier=”3791323407″ locale=”US” src=”https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/617RDGE44XL.SL110.jpg” tag=”dailyartdaily-20″ width=”94″]   [easyazon_image align=”none” height=”110″ identifier=”1785511165″ locale=”US” src=”https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/51b5BgeMyUL.SL110.jpg” tag=”dailyartdaily-20″ width=”96″]  [easyazon_image align=”none” height=”110″ identifier=”3836523213″ locale=”US” src=”https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/419qdqHwrYL.SL110.jpg” tag=”dailyartdaily-20″ width=”90″]

Get your daily dose of art

Click and follow us on Google News to stay updated all the time

Recommended

A person looking at the empty painting frame. Museum Stories

Art Crimes: What Is Artnapping?

It can be quite surprising to consider art as one of the items moved in the world’s black-market economy, alongside some of the more expected...

Nikolina Konjevod 11 January 2024

Museum Stories

5 Museum Gift Shops in Berlin—Get Ready for Christmas!

With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, are you seeking something special for your loved ones?  This year, we’ve got you covered...

Theresa Kohlbeck Jakobsen 24 November 2023

Museum Stories

15 Best Unique Gifts from Museum Shops 2023

Looking for unique gifts to get your loved ones this holiday season? Look no further! Museum shops around the world offer a treasure trove of...

Martha Teverson 24 November 2023

Interior, New Art Gallery Walsall, UK, gallery’s website. Museum Stories

Walsall’s Mona Lisa in the Garman Ryan Collection

The Garman Ryan Collection holds some of the most fascinating and esoteric artworks you will ever see. Also the story of how two women managed to...

Candy Bedworth 8 May 2023