Art – Monet to Matisse episode 4: Claude Monet was an avid horticulturist and arguably the most important painter of gardens in the history of art, but he was not alone. Great artists like Van Gogh, Bonnard, Sorolla, Sargent, Pissarro and Matisse all saw the garden as a powerful subject for their art.
These great artists, along with many other famous names, featured in an innovative and extensive exhibition from The Royal Academy of Arts, London. From the exhibition walls to the wonder and beauty of artists’ gardens like Giverny and Seebüll, the film takes a magical and widely travelled journey to discover how different contemporaries of Monet built and cultivated modern gardens to explore expressive motifs, abstract colour, decorative design and utopian ideas.
Art – Monet to Matisse episode 4
Guided by passionate curators, artists and garden enthusiasts, this remarkable collection of Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, and avant-garde artists of the early twentieth century will reveal the rise of the modern garden in popular culture and the public’s enduring fascination with gardens today.
Oscar-Claude Monet (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) was a French painter, a founder of French Impressionist painting and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein air landscape painting. The term “Impressionism” is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant (Impression, Sunrise), which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris.
Monet’s ambition of documenting the French countryside led him to adopt a method of painting the same scene many times in order to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. From 1883, Monet lived in Giverny, where he purchased a house and property and began a vast landscaping project which included lily ponds that would become the subjects of his best-known works. In 1899, he began painting the water lilies, first in vertical views with a Japanese bridge as a central feature and later in the series of large-scale paintings that was to occupy him continuously for the next 20 years of his life.