Naming Claude Monet is talking about impressionist art, an artistic style with which Paris has been identified a lot, since it was a generation of painters who painted the city and its surroundings, renewing its image and all the aesthetics of art. In fact, Monet is considered the inventor of Impressionism. Therefore, we cannot think of a better place to discover his work than in Paris.
Even though In the beginning the impressionist painters, with Monet in the lead, were rejected by the elite and the academics of the time, today the acceptance of their art is total. So much so that his work hangs in some of the most important museums in the city. In which ones? Now we tell you.
Monet at the Musée d'Orsay
Lunch on the grass
Claude Monet had an important reference in his work. And that was Édouard Manet, which marked its particular beginning of modern painting with its Breakfast on the grass.
As well, Monet's best tribute was to paint this work in 1865, Lunch on the grass. Both today can be seen in the same place: the Orsay Museum in Paris.
Women in the garden
When he first showed this 1866 canvas he was forbidden to exhibit it in the Official Hall, since it was seen that it was another step in impressionism, which now reached human figures, like those of these women.
And is that they are figures that you have not drawn, but has composed them of brush strokes of color, so that they seem to vibrate. That is the impressionism that we will continue talking about in the following works!
We are facing one of Claude Monet's most popular paintings. A work he did in the year 1873 and whose theme could not be simpler: a field with blooming poppies, giving life and color to the dry and yellowish summer herbs.
And over there Two figures walk. They are his wife and son, which served as models for countless works.
Regattas in Argenteuil
The town of Argenteuil, near Paris, was the true refuge of the artist. There he spent long periods and invited other colleagues, such as Renoir or Manet, to work with him.
And is that the site fascinated him with its forests, its bridges and the river. A river he painted many times, as on this occasion, during a race day. A scene that had everything for him: light, movement, effects on the water ... That is, impressions.
San Lázaro Station
The same provided the railway stations: a different light environment, with the movement of trains, the passengers and, in addition, the magic of the smoke of the locomotives.
That portrays this 1877 picture of the missing San Lazaro station in Paris. For the fates of fate, the image has returned to another station, since originally the Orsay Museum was a railway station.
Monet traveled to England and was enchanted by a light so vastly different from what he was used to. He was fascinated by the mists on the riverbed of the Thames, wrapping its bridges and leaving an almost ghostly view of Big Ben. He painted that several times in 1900, including this cloth.
Monet at the Marmottan Museum
The Marmottan Museum safeguards one of the best sets of impressionist art that can be seen in the world. A collection of private origin that grew over time, to which even Monet's own son donated many paintings to shine alongside those of other Impressionism masters.
Total, here more than 60 Monet paintings are preserved, a considerable number. And in them you can see all the evolution that this extraordinary and renovating painter was taking. Where is the Marmottan Monet? On Louis Boilly Street in Department XVI, very close to Bois de Boulogne.
We said that the Marmottan Museum has a huge collection of Monet's paintings, drawings and studies, but few of the works he treasures have the meaning of this canvas: Print, dawn.
In the end, this work of 1872 was the one that gave name to the impressionist movement. Look closely, because it is the impression of a specific moment of dawn, if you paint it a few minutes later, the picture would already be different.
The snow train
Claude Monet painted on numerous occasions railway stations, as we have already seen. But he also portrayed trains outside them. And is that this means of transport was the most modern of the time and, therefore, was an ally of the new painting.
All without forgetting the plasticity of the railroad, much more prominent if the bottom is a snowy field like in this 1875 fabric.
Mount Kolsaas in Norway
The artist, wherever he went, he was always loaded with his notebooks, his paintings and his canvases. So of all his trips, whether long or short, he used to bring works.
A sample is this cloth from Mount Kolsaas, which he made after a trip to Norway in 1895. A trip that gave him the opportunity to paint landscapes he wasn't used to.
But in addition to his travels, the vast majority of Monet's canvases are starred in the places where he lived, especially Paris.
In fact, both he and the Impressionist painters such as Pissarro or Renoir were very concerned about painting the urban landscapes of the gala capital. That is what we see in this image of the Tuileries Gardens in 1876.
Monet in the Petit Palais
This palace is one of the most apparent and unknown jewels of Paris, since It is the Museum of Fine Arts that is often overlooked if compared to the great Parisian museums. And that despite the fact that it saves more than a thousand works from the whole history of art.
Sunset over the Seine, winter effect
The Musée d'Orsay and the Marmottan treasure the vast majority of Monet's pieces on display in Paris. But in the elegant rooms of the Belle Époque Le Petit Palais also hangs the artist's works. One is the delicate work Sunset over the Seine, winter effect. A job he did in 1880.
Monet at the Orangerie Museum
And Monet's traces of the museums in Paris take us to the Orangerie Museum, located at one end of the Tuileries that the same painter portrayed. The building was built to be an orangery greenhouse, but today It houses a fantastic collection of paintings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Water liliesLily pads
This museum saves all of his latest works, which already being an old man and almost blind did in his house of Giverny. There he painted his pond hundreds of times with water lilies, and the result is unique, exceptional and key works to understand all the art of the avant-garde of the twentieth century.
Giverny excursionMonet's Garden in Giverny - JJG53 / Flickr.com
For those who still wish to continue tracking Monet's footprints while in the gala capital, we recommend an excursion to Giverny. It is a town in the neighboring Normandy region and about 90 minutes away.
There awaits what was the house of the teacher for more than 40 years, from 1883 until his death in 1926. A place to know not only his art, but also his most intimate life, since his house, his workshop and the gardens in which the painter spent hours were seen, to later make paintings such as the of the Lily pads Seen in the Orangerie.
In this way, the visit to Giverny can perfectly close the journey through the life and work of Monet We started in the museums of Paris.