We all know about them, of course. The garden paintings of French Impressionist Claude Monet (1840-1926) are famous around the world. But how many of us have seen the actual canvases, with their explosions of colour? The last major Monet exhibitions in the Netherlands were held back in 1952 at the Gemeentemuseum and in 1986 at the Van Gogh Museum. In fact, many of Monet’s renowned garden paintings have never been seen in the Netherlands at all. High time, we think, for a great tribute at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
The forthcoming exhibition will focus on the longest single phase in Monet’s life: from 1900 to 1926. Over that period of more than a quarter of a century, Monet lived a secluded life at Giverny, working on what were to become his most renowned paintings – those of his own gardens. Over time, he depicted the gardens in an increasingly abstract style. Many art historians have wrongly attributed this stylistic change to failing eyesight. But in fact Monet – at the height of his career – was conducting an impressive exploration of new artistic frontiers.