The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, November 1, 2014


Painting by Monet to be offered in Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale
Visitors chat in front of a painting entitled 'Nympheas avec reflets de hautes herbes' by French artist Claude Monet at Sotheby's auction house in central London. Due to form part of the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on February 5, it is expected to fetch between 12-18 million GBP (15-22 million EUR - 19-29 million USD). AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT.
LONDON.- Claude Monet’s famous lily pond in his garden at Giverny provided the subject matter for most of his major later works, paintings whose significance in the development of modern art is now fully recognised. The theme of waterlilies, that became not only Monet’s most celebrated series of paintings, but possibly one of the most iconic images of the Impressionist movement, dominated the artist’s work over several decades, recording the changes in his style and his constant pictorial innovations. The present monumental oil, which dates from 1914-17, is a powerful testament to Monet’s enduring vision and creativity in his mature years. This work and the other in this series led to the celebrated Grandes décorations, now in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris, which are according to Daniel Wildenstein ‘the crowning glory of Monet’s career, in which all his work seemed to culminate’ (D. Wildenstein, op. cit., 1996, p. 840).

By 1890, Monet had become financially successful enough to buy the house and a large garden at Giverny, which he had rented since 1883. With enormous vigour and determination, he swiftly set about transforming the gardens and creating a large pond, in which waterlilies gradually matured (fig. 3). Once the garden was designed according to the artist’s vision, it offered a boundless source of inspiration, and provided the major themes that dominated the last three decades of Monet’s career. Towards the end of his life, he told a visitor to his studio: ‘It took me some time to understand my water lilies. I planted them purely for pleasure; I grew them with no thought of painting them. A landscape takes more than a day to get under your skin. And then, all at once I had the revelation – how wonderful my pond was – and reached for my palette. I’ve hardly had any other subject since that moment’ (quoted in Stephan Koja, Claude Monet (exhibition catalogue), Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna, 1996, p. 146).

Once discovered, the subject of waterlilies offered a wealth of inspiration that Monet went on to explore for several decades. His carefully designed garden presented the artist with a micro-cosmos in which he could observe and paint the changes in weather, season and time of day, as well as the ever-changing colours and patterns. John House wrote: ‘The water garden in a sense bypassed Monet’s long searches of earlier years for a suitable subject to paint. Designed and constantly supervised by the artist himself, and tended by several gardeners, it offered him a motif that was at the same time natural and at his own command - nature re-designed by a temperament. Once again Monet stressed that his real subject when he painted was the light and weather’ (J. House, Monet: Nature into Art, Newhaven, 1986, p. 31).

In the present work, Monet juxtaposes the waterlilies floating on the water surface with the grass that appears to be hanging from above them. Moving towards an increasingly abstract treatment of space, the artist focused on the effect of light and shadow on the water surface, blurring the boundary between the sun-drenched grass and its shadow. He also eliminated the horizon line, thus minimising the illusion of perspective. The only sense of depth is derived from the long grass that seems to burst into the scene from an invisible source outside the scope of the canvas. The surface of the canvas becomes a two-dimensional pattern, contrasting the round and oval shapes of the waterlilies with the elongated blades of grass. The elimination of the horizon line led Monet towards a transition from the horizontal format to the square canvases, that he started using after the turn of the century.

In 1914, Monet began to conceive of his Les Grandes décorations (fig. 4), a sequence of monumental paintings of the gardens that would take his depictions of the waterlily pond in a dramatic new direction. The artist envisaged an environment in which the viewer would be completely surrounded by the paintings. He wrote: ‘The temptation came to me to use this water-lily theme for the decoration of a drawing room: carried along the length of the walls, enveloping the entire interior with its unity, it would produce the illusion of an endless whole, of a watery surface with no horizon and no shore; nerves exhausted by work would relax there, following the restful example of those still waters, […] a refuge of peaceful meditation in the middle of a flowering aquarium’ (quoted in Claude Roger-Marx, ‘Les Nymphéas de Monet’, in Le Cri de Paris, Paris, 23rd May 1909).

Writing about Monet’s creative outburst from 1914, Daniel Wildenstein observed: ‘His activity was dominated by the desire to create a major set of decorative paintings, the Water-lilies Decoration, for which he had a special studio built quite early on. This enabled him to work every year during the off-season on his large panels, the preparatory studies for which, despite their considerable size, were painted from life in spring and summer, thanks to an arrangement of ropes and stakes which kept them steady (J.P. Hoschedé, 1960, vol. I, p. 133). A short rest period in early October generally marked the transition between the two campaigns. However, before the end of World War I, the studies ceased to absorb all of the artist’s working hours and he returned to painting at the easel as well. Many of these easel paintings were on larger canvases than those he had used previously’ (D. Wildenstein, op. cit., 1996, p. 839). In the later part of his career, it was Monet’s intention to depict atmosphere and colour rather than to record a specific scene; working towards this goal, he reached a level of abstraction that was to play a profound role on the development of later twentieth century art.





Today's News

February 4, 2013

Painting by Monet to be offered in Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale

Experience the beauty and opulence of Anna Karenina at a special costume exhibition

Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale to be led by Amedeo Modigliani

Seminal portrait of Mona Bismarck by Salvador Dalí to highlight Sotheby's sale of Surrealist art

The Art Show celebrates 25 years featuring and unprecendented 39 solo artist booths

The Davis Museum at Wellesley College presents "Festina Lente: Conserving Antiquity"

Exhibition of works by seminal New British sculpture artist Richard Wentworth opens at Lisson Gallery

First solo museum show in the U.S. of the late artist Rudolf de Crignis opens in Berkeley

Frank Goodyear and Anne Collins Goodyear named Co-Directors of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Property from an important private collection of Western art to be sold by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

RM Auctions announces stunning early highlights for biennial sale during the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

Rice University Art Gallery opens exhibition by Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg

Uri Aran's first comprehensive solo institutional show opens at Kunsthalle Zurich

How I Wrote Elastic Man: A group exhibition opens at Invisible-Exports

Icebergs and Glaciers: Elisa Contemporary Art pays tribute to these stunning natural formations

Exhibition at Littlejohn Contemporary features paintings by Annette Davidek

Exhibition explores the broad range of work the Walker Art Gallery has collected in recent years

CAM Raleigh presents a major exhibition of artworks by British artist Alistair McClymont.

Yiddish paper gives 'dying' language new life

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site