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Rare Opportunity to Explore French Impressionist Monet at the Portland Art Museum
Claude Monet, River at Lavacourt, 1879, Oil on canvas, Bequest of C. F. Adams.
PORTLAND, ORE.- For a limited time—now through January 31—visitors to the Portland Art Museum will have a unique opportunity to view four major canvases by French Impressionist Claude Monet (1840 – 1926). The four paintings are hung in close proximity in the Museum’s Impressionist galleries and offer insight into the artist’s practice over three decades. Claude Monet’s Waterlilies (1914-15) is arguably the centerpiece of the Museum’s permanent collection and one of the most popular for visitors and members. Thanks to a loan from a private collection, visitors will also see Monet’s companion painting, Nymphéas (1914-1917), an oil painting of the same group of waterlilies in his beloved pond and garden at his home in Giverny, France. The paintings are installed near the Museum’s two other Monet paintings, River at Lavacourt (1879) and Le Chateau d’Antibes (c. 1888), in the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art.

“The chance to study two masterworks conceived and executed with the same palette in the same place, perhaps a few days apart is a unique opportunity,” said Bruce Guenther, chief curator. The canvases open up Monet’s investigations of light and color and illustrate the potential for such different resulting energies in the works.”

While the companion Nymphéas, will remain on view until April 31, the Museum’s Waterlilies will be part of a major exhibition at the Wadsworth Antheneum in Connecticut beginning in February and running through June 12. Because of its popularity, the Museum has only loaned the painting some seven times in the past fifty years.

“Monet’s Water Lilies: an Artist’s Obsession will be an excellent scholarly look at Monet’s late period organized by one of FRAME's (French Regional American Museum Exchange) partners who have been helpful in past projects of the Museum including The Dancer and La Volupté de goût,” said Museum Director Brian Ferriso.

During his lifetime, Monet painted some 300 oil paintings depicting his water garden and Japanese bridge at his home in Giverny and they were the main focus of his practice during the last years of his life. He once observed, “It took me time to understand my waterlilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them.”





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January 6, 2011

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