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Friday, 18 December 2015

"Monet: A Bridge to Modernity" at the National Gallery of Canada

 
Blog 50

This week, we had our annual Painting Buddies Christmas lunch. The Painting Buddies are a group of artist friends who get together in the Ottawa area to paint outside. While we were really active the last couple of years, this year we did not paint much together. Everyone was busy with their own lives but we still managed to meet this week to celebrate our friendship and the Christmas season. Usually, we only go to a local restaurant but this time we decided to visit the National Gallery of Canada to see the special exhibition “
This week, we had our annual Painting Buddies Christmas lunch. The Painting Buddies are a group of artist friends who get together in the Ottawa area to paint outside. While we were really active the last couple of years, this year we did not paint much together. Everyone was busy with their own lives but we still managed to meet this week to celebrate our friendship and the Christmas season. Usually, we only go to a local restaurant but this time we decided to visit the National Gallery of Canada to see the special exhibition “Monet: A Bridge to Modernity”.

Claude Monet (1840–1926), is one of France's most famous impressionist painters, who aspired to capture the fleeting impressions of nature in his plein air works.The exhibition contains twelve artworks of Monet's bridges from collections around the world. Claude Monet created the paintings between 1872 and 1875 in Argenteuil, a small town on the outskirts of Paris .

One of early pieces of this time is his painting “The Wooden Bridge - Le pont de bois (1872)”, a piece that is currently on long-term loan to the National Gallery. The rather dark painting shows the highway bridge under repair following the destruction during the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871). The composition with the cropped bridge gives you the impression of a picture within a picture.

Monet was very productive during his years in Argenteuil. He experimented with different viewpoints, techniques, colours and brushstrokes to develop his own style of landscape painting. His bridge paintings lay the groundwork for Monet's status as one of the leading artist of modern art.

It is very interesting that his first paintings of the time are rather somber, reflecting the mood of the post-war town, while his later works are bright and full of vivid brushstrokes. His reflections on the water and his beautiful clouds really captured me.

“Monet: A Bridge to Modernity” runs until 15 Feb 2016 at the National Gallery of Canada. Maybe, you will find some time between the holidays to check it out. Even though it is a small exhibition, it is definitely worth the visit.

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