Behind the Exhibition

© Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

Claude Monet


Oscar Claude Monet was born on November 14, 1840. Having started studying art at a very early age, the artist learned oil painting and working on landscapes in the open air with the guidance of Eugène Boudin. Contrary to his contemporaries, who had copied works by the established artists, Monet preferred to draw what he saw in his window. Paintings from the artist’s youth present the formative phase of Monet’s oeuvre, which went on redefining the art of painting.

Monet was the herald of the end of humanist heritage, handed down since the Renaissance, in painting, philosophy, and science. He explored the elements of light and wind in painting and produced accordingly throughout his artistic career, and he is considered to be the founders of Impressionism, which was named after the artist’s painting Impression, Sunrise (1872). With a disregard for Western art’s illusionist tradition that has passed on since the Renaissance, the Impressionists refused to posit humans as the masters of the universe. Monet acknowledged and addressed the constant mutability of the world: he was not the first to paint canvases that had been criticized for their unfinished appearance, but he was the first to paint the ‘unfinishedness’ of human perception and experience.

Monet traveled to and produced landscape paintings in a wide range of places including Normandie and Norway from 1883 to 1908. He moved to Giverny, a small village 80 km away from Paris, along with his wife Alice and children in May 1883. Nine years later, the artist bought a mansion there, organized and grew plants and flowers in its garden, which he had painted over and over again until his death in 1926.

Claude Monet’s Life and Art >>

Monet’s Garden – Periods, Works

“I perhaps owe having become an artist to flowers.”
Claude Monet

Monet’s Garden - Masterpieces from Musée Marmottan

The exhibition Monet’s Garden - Masterpieces from Musée Marmottan, held at Sakıp Sabancı Museum from 9 October 2012 to 6 January 2013 in the Museum’s 10th anniversary, brought together works by the French painter Claude Monet, who gave the Impressionist movement its name. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with Musée Marmottan Monet, owner of the largest Monet collection in the world, and provided insight into the artist’s innovative approach. The greater portion of the selection in the exhibition included works depicting flowers and nature with a focus on the Giverny Garden, Monet’s greatest inspiration during the last years of his life. The exhibition is now digitally available via the digitalSSM archives to present Monet’s approach towards the theme of nature, through a selection of his pictures of garden scenes, water lilies, as well as his famous Japanese bridge paintings.

Exhibition Catalog

Monet's Garden

These excerpts, taken from the Monet’s Garden - Masterpieces from Musée Marmottan exhibition catalog give an insight into Monet’s life through an exploration of the periods in his art. Penned by the art historian and writer Emmanuelle Amiot-Saulnier, the texts delve into Monet’s interactions with the art world as a forerunner figure of his age, as well as his approach towards the concept of nature—the main element of his art—and its transformation throughout his art life.

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© Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris


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