The Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso (Italy) hosts an exhibition dedicated to a great artist, Claude Monet; the show -"Monet. I luoghi della pittura"- will be open to the public until 10 February.
This exhibition was arranged
in a style that differs from that of many shows dedicated to the artist so
far, in that it is meant to follow Monet’s development along his extremely
personal emotional life, a somewhat ‘geographical approach’, touching on Norway’s
snows, the high cliffs of Normandy, the silent course of the Seine, London’s
colourful mists, the sparkling light over the Mediterranean Sea, the red poppies
of Holland, the grandeur of Venice, the embroidering of a water lily over
the waterfall of the Giverny pond.
This is how the four sections of the exhibition originated; none of the masterpieces painted by Monet will be missing, and as a painter Monet (this ought to be stated) is one of the fathers of Modernity. He was the source of one of the greatest revolutions of all time: Impressionism.
The first section includes Normandy and Brittany: long sandy shores, the cliffs of Etretat, Pourville and Belle-Ile, the small harbours in Honfleur or Le Havre with their fishing boats. Even though he was born in Paris, it was in Le Havre that Monet spent his childhood and youth. In Normandy he discovered nature and acquired landscape-painting skills through Boudin’s and Jongkind’s assistance. During the 90s a transformation took place, as his shapes started to change depending on the incidence of light. This generated amazement in Maupassant himself, in watching the French artist paint: “I once saw him capture on the rocks a wave of shining light and fix it with gushes of yellow hues which conveyed in a startlingly genuine manner the fleeting effect of that impalpable and dazzling brightness”.
The second section includes the Seine Waterfront landscapes. Here we have the spots he reproduced in his paintings along the river, wherever he placed his easel. We have the boats beside Renoir, in the Grenouillčre, and the extremely colourful paintings of the Argenteuil basin, where Monet had hired an apartment from which he could see “whatever happened on the Seine”. Great beauty transpires from two paintings centred on the imposing view of the thaw, dated 1880. From the Seine he pictured the towns of Vetheuil and Vernon.
The third section includes
the theme of town and villages, with special emphasis on Paris. Besides painting
the Tuileries Park in as many as 12 different versions, he also painted the
Saint Lazare Station, which has now become an icon, (1877). Then we have the
London views (these are “details” to be honest), focusing on the harbour and
on the symbol of the City of London, the Parliament, as well as on Waterloo
Bridge, lit by a cold morning light, and on a rather liquefied nocturne of
The collection also includes paintings dating back to the artist’s brief stay in Venice, representing the delicate lace of Palazzo Ducale or Palazzo Contarini; the pictures produced in Bordighera, where he was fascinated by the “fantastic light” which was also responsible for a deep state of prostration for having not succeeded in fully doing justice to it.
The fourth section is
named after Giverny, a small country through which you reach Normandy from
Paris; around the year 1883, Monet discovered the charms of this new place.
He wrote: “I am in raptures, Giverny is a wonderful place”. In the early 90s
he had bought a property here, were a basin subsequently formed, which was
to later become the “Basin of the water lilies”. In this last place of residence,
Monet found the largest natural atelier. To this inexhaustible source of inspiration
Monet remained attached up to his last days, with a really powerful obstinacy,
which led him to say “these glares have become an obsession”.
And also: “this is something that goes beyond my strengths as an old man, still I want to succeed in conveying my feelings”. In all these paintings, Monet is somehow dazed by the light. It is on light that he focused all his work, by representing it in its various gradings throughout the day and evening, whilst beating or filtering the landscape he had represented.
Occasionally, even the image, or rather the figure, portrayed within the landscape, such as “Woman with Sunshade” (1886) allows a reading of the composition slant in the light that surrounds Blanche Hoschedč, the painter’s step-daughter.
The young woman’s mother, Alice, was the widow of the antiquarian Hoschedč, and Monet took her in second marriage in 1892. This Treviso exhibition dedicated to Monet is one that continues to shine, disclosing the most secret laws of nature. It is an absolute miracle of heaven and earth. It is Monet’s miracle. (trad.Interpres-Giussano)