Saturday, February 25, 2017

“Monet: The Early Years,” opens today at the Legion of Honor, S.F.

The first major exhibition in the United States focused upon the beginning of Claude Monet’s career, “Monet: The Early Years,” features approximately 60 portraits, still lifes and landscapes from 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. 

Created by Monet during a 14-year period starting in 1858 with the first painting he exhibited at the age of 17, these particular paintings offer insight into his growth and development as an artist. Through his observation of how light interacted with surfaces and the exploration of painting textures, Monet began to discover and solidify a revolutionary style of painting, which would help fuel the Impressionism movement.

“Photograph of the young Monet,” (1865) by Étienne Carjat

The exhibition ends with works completed in 1872, the same year that he would join fellow artists including Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro for their first exhibition together in Paris. The group garnered the name Impressionists, after art critic Louis Leroy wrote in a review that the paintings were simply "impressions." 

“View Near Rouelles,” (1858), oil on canvas, Claude Monet. Marunuma Art Park. 

“Luncheon on the Grass, Central Panel,” (1865-66), oil on canvas. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

“Adolphe Monet Reading in a Garden,” (1866), oil on canvas. The Larry Ellison Collection.

“Jean Monet Sleeping,” (1868), oil on canvas. Ny Carlsbery Glyptotek, Copenhagen. 

“La Grenouillère,” (1869), oil on canvas, Claude Monet. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. H.O. Havemeyer collection.

“On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt,” (1868), oil on canvas. Claude Monet. Art Institute of Chicago. Potter Palmer collection.

“The Pointe de Hève at Low Tide,” (1865), oil on canvas. Claude Monet. Kimbell Art Museum.

“Quai du Louvre,” (1867), oil on canvas. Claude Monet. Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands.

“Monet: The Early Years.” Through May 29. $35 adults; $30 Seniors 65 +; $26 Students, $20 Youth ages 6-17, free children five years and younger, to museum members and to the general public on the first Tuesday of every month. 9:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday. Legion of Honor, 100 34th Ave., Lincoln Park, S.F. (415) 750-3600,

-Stephanie Wright Hession

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