Five Outstanding Impressionist Exhibitions for 2013

Impressionism and fashion

Impressionnisme et La Mode (Impressionism and Fashion) at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. © Freepenguin

The year 2013 is going to be another year fans of impressionist art will not forget. To begin with, Normandy, the birthplace of French impressionism, will be hosting the second Impressionist Festival from April to September. And for those who can not make it to northern France to share in the festivities, there are at least five different, truly outstanding temporary impressionist exhibitions travelling between ten cities around the world.
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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. Read more ›

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Monet’s Garden in its Autumnal Glory

You are more likely to come across colourful photographs of Claude Monet’s garden and the waterlily pond he created in full spring or summer bloom. Autumn, on the other hand, is overlooked. And perhaps I should own up to being guilty of ignoring autumn in Giverny here on this website. Even though spring is undoubtedly my preferred season at Giverny, and while October may not be as colourful as spring or summer, autumn is also spectacular – in both the garden and on the house itself. Of course the house itself is good to see all year round.

So if you find yourself in Paris and/or Normandy in October, you should definitely consider visiting before this much loved attraction is closed to the public on 1 November for the winter season. Although October can be a tad cold, there are also bright, sunny days. And remember, should you choose to cycle or walk from Vernon to Giverny, there are a number of very good restaurants in which you can get yourself a hearty meal. The following photographs were kindly sent to me by one of my guests who visited the gardens at the end of October in 2011. Read more ›

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‘The Artist’s Garden at Giverny’

Claude Monet, 1900, The Artist's Garden at Giverny. Oil on canvas, 89.5 x 92.1 cm. © Yale University Art Gallery
Claude Monet, 1900, The Artist’s Garden at Giverny. Oil on canvas, 89.5 x 92.1 cm. © Yale University Art Gallery

Claude Monet’s garden today is a delight to visit throughout the period it is open to the public (April to October). In May, one of these delights is the irises – iris germanica. When I recently visited the gardens at dusk when they were open to the public (free of charge) as part of the Europe-wide Nuits des Musées initiative, the paths lined with iridescent irises in full bloom reminded me of ‘The Artist’s Garden at Giverny‘ (above). Read more ›

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Exhibition: ‘Monet’s Garden’ in New York City

The 'grand allée' in Monet's Giverny garden
The ‘grand allée’ is one of the most well known views of Monet’s house from the bottom of his garden, July 2009.

Claude Monet’s Giverny garden is one of the most popular tourist attractions in France outside of Paris. Anyone visiting northern France has the slightest interest in French impressionism or Monet’s paintings come to see the grand allée, the water lilies on the ponds he created, the Japanese footbridge, the beautiful flowers, as well as his typical Norman house, with its wonderful collection of Japanese art. I can not believe anyone leaves Giverny disappointed. If you can not get to Giverny during this summer, but will be in New York between 19 May and 21 October 2012, you are in for a treat. Monet’s garden may not be in the Bronx, but ‘Monet’s Garden’ at the New York Botanical Garden is certainly the next best thing. Read more ›

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Claude Monet’s Japanese Footbridge

End of April, 2010

Claude Monet (right) on his Japanese Bridge, New York Times, 1922

Monet on his footbridge (to the right), New York Times, 1922

There are so many wonderful features in Claude Monet’s Giverny garden, which does, at least in part, account for its enduring appeal. Given that French Impressionism and Monet in particular is widely thought to be the most popular genre of art, we are all ‘familiar’ with the garden before we even get there. These different features were each created by Monet, and then repeatedly painted on canvasses that are now well known, and in galleries and collections around the World. One of those features I never tire of seeing is the Japanese footbridge. Although a simple structure, it is a very striking one – flanked by willows and covered in wisteria. Read more ›

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Exhibition: Degas to Dalí at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand

Louis-Eugène Boudin, 1874, The Port of Bordeaux. Oil on canvas, 40 cm x 65.40 cm. © National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Louis-Eugène Boudin, 1874, The Port of Bordeaux. Oil on canvas, 40 cm x 65.40 cm. © National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh – on show at the Degas to Dalí exhibition, Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand.

On show in Auckland, New Zealand, during the first half of 2012 is an amazing collection of masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland. In all 79 of some of the finest paintings, sculptures and prints by 62 different artists, representing ground breaking developments in the story of Western art over the last hundred or so years, have travelled around the World to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. And included in this exhibition, entitled Degas to Dalí, are some remarkable examples of French impressionism. These impressionists take their rightful place in an exhibition that begins in the 1860s with realism, and leads the visitor from one major art movement to the next ending in the mid twentieth century with pop art and op art. Read more ›

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Impressionists Back on Display at the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge

Claude Monet, 1885, The Rock Needle and Porte d’Aval, Etrétat. Oil on canvas, 64.8 x 81 cm. © The Fitzwilliam Museum
“The Fitzwilliam is engaged in a staged programme of refurbishment of its galleries which provides an opportunity not only to refresh the displays but, just as importantly, to bring the fruits of new research and interpretations to bear on the understanding of our works. The beautiful new Impressionist gallery, one of the jewels of the Founder’s Building, achieves all of these aims in what is sure to be one of our most popular displays.” Dr Timothy Potts, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, 2011

A number of art museums are either in the process of refurbishing their galleries or have just re-opened newly renovated galleries, and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England is one. In November last year Gallery 5, one of their more popular galleries, re-opened after an extensive make-over. This is the Fitzwilliams’ French Impressionists and other late 19th and early 20th century permanent exhibition. Read more ›

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Normandy Impressionism Festival 2013

EDIT 2 November 2012: The programme is now available, click here.

Advertising the Impressionism Festival in Rouen by night.
A night time projection on to a tall building advertising the Impressionism Festival 2010, Rouen.

Having only just started 2012, you might feel it is just a bit too soon to be contemplating 2013. Of course, tourist authorities and organisations are planning that far ahead – at least we hope they are! But, there are also tourists who are already thinking, no matter how tentatively, about where they might visit in 2013. So, for my readers who need an incentive for a trip to France in 2013, here is some welcome Impressionism-related news just for you. Read more ›

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Luxury Holiday in Monet’s Normandy and Paris with exclusive Guided Tours, Spring 2011

Spoil yourself with a 5-day inclusive break at the highly praised Basse Copette and enjoy personal guided tours of Giverny, and many other Impressionist sites in Normandy, including Rouen and the Normandy coast.

Come and see the Normandy Monet and others made famous in their paintings, whatever the weather. Sit back, relax and be guided to the façade of the Cathedral and the Gros Horloge in Rouen; experience the autumnal colours of Monet’s garden in Giverny and Pissarro’s town of Eragny; as well as the white chalky cliffs of the Normandy coast at Etretat, Pourville and Varengeville.

Enjoy all this paintings, cityscapes and landscapes on an all-inclusive luxury 5 day break in Upper Normandy, staying at the highly praised Basse Copette, with your host and guide, Thomas Dowson. With meals and guided tours included, this is your chance to experience the real Impressionist France. Read more ›

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Welcome to my guide to Normandy's Impressionist heritage - 'In Monet's Footsteps. Besides the inspiring gardens in Giverny, there really is so much more for lovers of French Impressionism to explore in Normandy. Continue reading ...
Monet Tours, Normandy

Claude Monet's house and garden on a glorious spring day Follow in the footsteps of the Impressionist artists in Normandy:
Five-day, all inclusive tour of Monet's Normandy

Be the first to see Monet's garden and the Normandy coast in Spring 2013:
Three-night, all inclusive break at Basse Copette - not on offer anywhere else!
Monet on the Normandy Coast by Robert Herbert Monet on the Normandy Coast by Robert L Herbert. An interesting social history of the artists' work between 1867 and 1886. Read more ...