It is very rare for an exhibition to focus purely on Monet, but that is exactly what has happened at the National Gallery this spring. What makes this exhibition even more unusual is its theme – Monet & Architecture.
There has never been an exhibition of this kind before. No one has looked at the career of this famous Impressionist artist through the medium of the buildings that he painted in France, Italy and in London itself. From simple village buildings to some of Europe’s most famous monuments, Monet painted the architecture of his time. The result is an opportunity to explore the world as Monet saw it.
He wrote ‘I want to paint the air that surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat’. As a result he brought buildings to life in a new way, creating impressions as well as detail. Some such as the scenes of the Cathedral at Rouen, are almost like Victorian photographs when viewed from a distance. Yet get close up, and they become almost abstract.
The exhibition is divided into three distinct areas. The first section deals with the Village and the Pictureseque with scenes mainly from France. The other two sections entitled The City and The Modern, The Monument and the Mysterious include many scenes from his travels such as those depicting London.
His initial impressions of London were not very favorable. Monet wrote ‘London would be quite ugly if it were not for the fog’. He painted numerous scenes of the river, the bridges and the Houses of Parliament. Many of these scenes are on the display in the exhibition. Many tourists are expected to visit the exhibition, with many booking rooms at serviced apartments London UK.
Looking at the paintings within the exhibition it is possible to see how his art developed, as he tried to capture different aspects of light and darkness against a range of buildings. This is Monet as he has not been seen before. This is not a dreamy world of waterlilies, but instead observations of grimy cities where coal heavers toil endlessly unloading barges on the Seine; of majestic cathedrals as sunset falls and a Venetian Doges Palace reflected in rippling water.
Book a stay at Presidential Kensington Apartments London and Visit Monet & Architecture. The Exhibition is at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square until the end of July. Tickets should be booked, as this is quite a popular exhibition.