It certainly has been a season for blockbuster exhibitions! This week I took my students to see a Monet exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. Most of the works were on loan from the Musee Marmottan Monet, Paris. How fortunate are to we have seen such an exhibition?
Whilst I have seen other Monets in real life there was something about this show that was simply stunning. It gave me a real understanding of why the Impressionists were considered renegades in their time and also why Monet is now a national treasure.
I was quite struck by the luminosity of the colours of the paint. I am very grateful to clever designers and curators who know how to display the works in the best way. Every now and then I would turn around and look across the room to see another amazing work, and by the trick of the eye, see light flickering on the water of the pond. What a very clever and skilled artist he was.
I wish it had been as empty as this the day we went! Wall to wall people. I am only hoping that each person who was there that day could really appreciate the beauty that Monet captured. Despite all the things he went through in his life (losing two wives, living through 2 world wars among other events) he still managed to capture beauty and a spirit of life and joy in his works.
The exhibition ended with a fantastic panoramic movie of Monet’s house and gardens at Giverny, complete with compelling classical soundtrack . If there was ever any reason you were not convinced by the artworks themselves this final aspect to the exhibition must persuade. It was just marvellous to sit and be enveloped by the music and the garden. If you let yourself you might even imagine that Monet himself would step out of the screen and converse with you.
Seeing artworks in real life and not just in books is soul food! I cannot encourage you more – go! Go to an exhibition. Go as much as you can. If you live in Melbourne, go see this one! JP