Monet’s Garden at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne

Aerial view of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne

Aerial view of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, taken from the nearby Eureka Tower

Monet’s Garden gets about I tell you: from New York in the summer of 2012 to Melbourne for the winter of 2013. But the Australian showing is, unlike the re-construction of iconic aspects of the artist’s garden in New York, a collection of paintings by Claude Monet from the Musée Marmottan Monet. Some 50 paintings from Paris will be joining others from around the World, from both private and public collections, for what the National Gallery of Victoria is describing as a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition down under. The exhibition will not be travelling to other destinations in Australia.

Claude Monet, Nymphéas (water lilies), 1903. Oil on canvas, 73.0 x 92.0 cm. © Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris,

Claude Monet, Nymphéas (water lilies), 1903. Oil on canvas, 73.0 x 92.0 cm. © Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris,

Not surprisingly, one of the highlights of the exhibition will be a group of paintings of water lilies painted between 1900 and 1919. The water lilies on the pond that the artists created himself were in fact one of Monet’s favourite themes in his later years. Not only do thousands of people journey to Giverny in Normandy to see his garden and the water lily pond, but paintings of his water lilies are every bit as popular. Besides the water lilies this temporary collection will showcase a variety of paintings of other subjects Monet painted in his garden, including the Japanese footbridge and different flowers – such as the iris, agapanthus and wisteria.

Water lilies and reflections of weeping willow on the pond in Monet's Garden in Giverny

Water lilies floating on the pond in Monet’s Garden in Giverny – note the reflection of the weeping willows that surround the pond.

Placing these paintings of various aspects of Monet’s garden in context, the exhibition will also include paintings and photographs of his family and the garden he created, as well as canvases he painted while in London and Norway.

The exhibition, Monet’s Garden at the National Gallery in Melbourne, opens 10 May 2013 and closes 25 August 2013. There will be an entry fee, and a programme of events related to the exhibition will be published nearer the time. The gallery also has in its permanent collection a number of fine French impressionist paintings, including by Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre Auguste Renoir. For further details, see the Gallery’s website.

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