You might call 2019 the Year of Monet. No fewer than five current and upcoming exhibitions in the U.S. are devoted to exploring French Impressionist artist Claude Monet and his extraordinary talent in mastering themes of nature and light in his paintings. Here are five exhibitions (the most comprehensive one will be in Denver) worth traveling to see.
More than 100 paintings created throughout Monet’s life will go on display at the Denver Art Museum next fall. “The Truth of Nature” traces Monet’s work from early landscapes and then to his fascination with single subjects, such as water lilies and haystacks, in different light and times of day. The show includes the first painting Monet, age 18, ever exhibited, in 1858 (“View from Rouelles”) and one of his last works (“The House Seen Through the Roses”) done a few months before he died in 1926. The museum partnered with an impressive list of museums and private collectors to create the show that will only be seen in the U.S. in Denver.
Info: “Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature,” Oct. 20-Feb. 20, 2020, Denver Art Museum
San Francisco and Fort Worth, Texas
“Monet: The Late Years” will open in February at the De Young Museum in San Francisco and then in June at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The show includes about 60 paintings from 1913 when, a museum news release said, “he embarked on a reinvention of his painting style that led to increasingly bold and abstract works” up until his death in 1926. During this time, Monet stayed close to home and worked at his beloved garden at Giverny, France. More than 20 water lily paintings will be displayed in the show.
“Monet’s Waterloo Bridge: Vision and Process” is a traveling show coming to the Worcester Art Museum in January. The show brings together in one place a series of nine paintings of the London bridge that spans the Thames River, The side-by-side displays will allow viewers to experience “the breadth of Monet’s emphasis on color, light, and density,” a museum statement said.
Info: “Monet’s Waterloo Bridge: Vision and Process,” Jan. 25-April 28, Worcester Art Museum
Monet’s impact on Impressionism (the title of one of his paintings lent the movement its name) is chronicled in “Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism” at the Telfair Museum Jepson Center. The show’s 30 paintings include the work of Monet with contemporaries Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin and Henri Matisse. In response to Paris’ remarkable urban modernization in the mid-19th century, the artists organized exhibitions “to promote the practice of painting directly from nature and recording modern life as a means of conveying truth in art,” a museum description of the show said.
Info: “Monet to Matissse: Masterworks of French Impressionism,” now through Feb. 9, Telfair Museum Jepson Center
The Frist Art Museum in Nashville is the latest site to host a traveling exhibition of more than 70 paintings covering 150 years of French art. Monet as well as Degas, Edouard Manet, Henri Rousseau and Vincent van Gogh are highlighted in the group of works from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ Paul Mellon collection.
Info: “Van Gogh, Monet, Degas and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art,” Feb. 2–May 5, Frist Art Museum