Saturday, October 28, 2017

Monet at the Wedding Cake

John and I just saw a great show of Monet paintings at the Complesso del Vittoriano gallery in Rome.
The gallery is set into the east side of the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II (better known as the Wedding Cake). The paintings are on loan from the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris.
We entered through a multi-media display of details from Monet's famous Water Lily paintings.
The show opens with a number of Monet's late works -- Boats in the Port of Honfleur, 1917
Hemerocallis, 1914-1917,
Waterlilies and Agapanthus, 1914-1917
and Irises, 1924-1925. Notice how loosely painted and modern they look
compared to his late-19th century painting The Seine at Port-Ville, Evening Effect, 1894.
I love how the 20th century drawings show that new looseness -- sketch for Water Lilies, 1916-1919
and Reflections of Willows, 1916-1919.
I wonder if Monet's late paintings like The Rose Path, 1920-1922, influenced New York Abstract-Expressionist painters like Joan Mitchell and Grace Hartigan
The large, gorgeous paintings at the end of the show are very exciting because they obviously lead to his final masterpieces -- the huge Water Lily paintings at the Orangerie in Paris. The Roses, 1925-1926,
Water Lilies, 1917-1919,
Wisteria, 1919-1920
and another Wisteria from the same period.
The show was fully merchandised. Need a Monet plate or teacup perhaps?
The show concludes February 2018.

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