Glimpse Into Claude Monet’s Giverny on August 19 at the Clark

For Immediate Release

August 07, 2007

Giverny, home to Claude Monet and one of art’s most famous backyards, will be the subject of the talk Monet at Giverny on Sunday, August 19, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. At 2 pm, Sarah Lees, the Clark’s associate curator of European art, will discuss the significance of Claude Monet’s home in Giverny, where he lived for forty-three years, in his art and life. Several magnificent works from this time are currently on view during The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings. The lecture, the second in a three part Sunday series on Monet, is free.

Claude Monet first settled in Giverny, a village on the Seine about 50 miles west of Paris, in 1883. After having lived in numerous other locations he had finally found a permanent home, and he began to transform the large house and its gardens into both site and subject matter for painting. During the 1880s and 1890s he took extensive walks in the countryside around the village. It was there that Monet found simple motifs, like poplars and grainstacks, which he painted repeatedly and soon came to consider as coherent series of works. Gradually, Monet focused more and more on the landscapes he himself had created in his own backyard. The famous paintings of willow trees, a Japanese-style bridge, and water lilies he produced in his later years record the artist’s complete immersion in the ideal natural world around him, translating his visual experience onto paper and canvas. Two oil paintings of water lilies, and related sketchbook drawings, are on view in the current blockbuster exhibition.

The Unknown Monet is not your typical Monet exhibition. Utilizing largely unknown and rarely exhibited works, the exhibition exposes Monet’s hidden life as a youthful caricaturist, masterful draftsman, and skilled pastel artist. This groundbreaking exhibition, containing the first significant concentration of Monet’s pastels to be exhibited together since the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874, also includes three-dozen drawings and fourteen paintings. An innovative, searchable database and series of computer kiosks allow for unprecedented access to Monet’s eight existing sketchbooks from the Musée Marmottan. This exhibition is on view through September 16.

In the last lecture of the series, assistant curator of education Danielle Steinmann will cut through the fog of time to expose Monet’s visions of “Monet’s London” on Sunday, August 26 at 2 pm.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open daily in July and August, 10 am to 5 pm (open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm September through June). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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