The Monet Exhibition at the Galeries Nationales has been an overwhelming succcess, closing its doors this Monday. Officially one of the most popular exhibitions in France, it has seen over 913000 visitors pass through its doors to stare at what Paris Vingt calls “the most ambitious Monet retrospective in over thirty years” (the last also held at the Grand Palais, in 1980).
170 paintings, gathered from both private and public collections from around the world, were thematically displayed next to precise, but not overbearing, informative plaques. The real treat in this was that visitors were able to see, side-by-side, paintings of the same subject under different conditions (light, angle, brush stroke etc.) Six decades of painting reveal Monet’s artistic development; from traditional to his later (and more familiar) Impressionist work.
It is such a pleasure to report the reaction that Paris still has to its Great Masters. It is exactly this kind of exhibition, and accompanying cultural pride, that impresses this city further into its reputation as a cultural queen.