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The most important exhibition of French painter Claude Monet’s work in Canada in two decades, Claude Monet’s Secret Garden will trace the career of this pivotal figure in Western art history. Monet’s 1872 painting Impression: Sunrise gave a name to the avant-garde movement of French painters called Impressionism. Together with his peers, Monet’s embrace of modern subject matter and innovative techniques defied the conventions of painting in nineteenth-century Europe, shaping the course of Modern art to come.
This exhibition will present thirty-eight paintings spanning the course of Monet’s long career from the unparalleled collection of the Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris. It will survey the diversity of subjects in his art, from the portrayal of modern life in his early figure studies to the inventive treatment of light in his scenes of the Parisian countryside and views of the River Thames. These works attest to Monet’s dedicated experimentation toward a novel approach to painting, which sought to capture the fleeting appearances and colours conjured by variable light. The exhibition will culminate in a major series of paintings executed in his famous gardens in the French village of Giverny, where Monet lived from 1883 to the end of his life. This series reveals Monet’s astute and sustained visual exploration of plants and water. His distinctive renderings of weeping willows, waterlilies and the Japanese bridge in his garden are among the most iconic imagery in Western painting today.
The Vancouver showing will be the only presentation of the exhibition in North America.