Claude Monet, La Grenouillère, 1869. Oil on canvas, 29 3/8 x 39 1/4 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.112). Image: www.metmuseum.org
Monet: The Early Years
Monet: The Early Years will be the first major US exhibition devoted to the initial phase of Claude Monet’s (French, 1840–1926) career. Through approximately sixty paintings, the exhibition demonstrates the radical invention that marked the artist’s development during the formative years of 1858 to 1872. In this period the young painter developed his unique visual language and technique, creating striking works that manifested his interest in painting textures and the interplay of light upon surfaces.
This exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Monet’s mastery before Impressionism, and includes paintings that are profoundly daring and surprising. Depictions of moments both large and small, with friends and loved ones, in the solitude of forests and fields and in the quiet scenes of everyday, offer new revelations about an artist that many consider to be ubiquitous.
With a selection of works gathered from some of the most important international collections – the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other public and private collections worldwide – Monet: The Early Years authoritatively demonstrates the artist’s early command of many genres, not only the landscapes for which he has become so renowned but also still lifes, portraits and genre scenes.
This exhibition follows the Legion of Honor’s strong history of showing highly important moments in French Impressionism. By following Monet before Impressionism, visitors can see the emergence of his style and how he helped shape the movement. Monet: The Early Years will be on view at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco from February 25 through May 29, 2017. This is the first of two exhibitions curated by George Shackelford, Deputy Director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas to examine the full artistic career of Claude Monet. The companion exhibition, Monet: The Late Years, will come to San Francisco in 2019. Esther Bell is the curator of both exhibitions for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.
This exhibition is organized by the Kimbell Art Museum in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Presenting Sponsors: John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums, and Diane B. Wilsey. Conservator’s Circle: Mrs. Carole McNeil. Benefactor’s Circle: Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, and Lucinda B. Watson. Patron’s Circle: George and Marie Hecksher, Mrs. Anne G. McWilliams, and David A. Wollenberg. Additional support is provided by Mrs. George Hopper Fitch, Carol Nelson and Kathryn Urban, the Michael M. Peacock Foundation, Marianne H. Peterson, and Andrea and Mary Barbara Schultz.
The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.