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.
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