Whether you are interested in art, love gardens or just need cheering up the latest exhibition at the RA is wonderful and includes paintings by Monet, his gardens and waterlilies but also works by Renoir, Cezanne, Pissaro, Manet and many others.
One of my extravagances is to be a friend of the RA as I still love going up to London and it’s a 38 bus ride away from Victoria. But if you can;t made it you see lots of images on line and I’ve included a little film about Giverny at the end of this post.
For the gardeners among us and you know I am a haphazard one myself, the aim of the exhibition is to trace the role gardens played in the evolution of art from the early 1860s to the 1920s – and it does! Here too, the joy of garden upon garden, flower upon flower, and with techniques and pieces of knowledge that I didn’t know, despite the fact I had once studied art for my teaching certificate and particularly the work of Van Gogh.
Apparently Van Gogh had influenced Munch who later painted ‘The Apple Tree’ a painting symbolic of the Tree or Knowledge, Good and Evil. Klee’s painting of the Rose Marble Table in 1917 was influenced by the fact that many of his friends were fighting in the Great War. On a more lighthearted note, writers dared to criticise Pissaro’s paintings, calling him the Market-Gardener of Cabbages!
Of course wave upon waves of Monet, including a whole room of his water lily paintings that usually hang in Paris.
I bought a couple of postcards but nothing could emulate the joy of actually seeing the original paintings. Maybe I should have lashed out and bought the catalogue – perhaps next time!
On the way home I suddenly remembered this film I made six years ago in Giverny. We were on a camping holiday at Les Andeleys not far away. Oh the joys of youtube. Happy Days!
‘As for me, I’m staying here all the time, and if those savages must kill me, it will be in the middle of my canvases in front of all my life’s work.’ Claude Monet 1914