Program: Monet and the Impressionists

Program: Monet and the Impressionists

Tuesday, November 16,  7 pm at the RAA Gallery

Lynda Zoeckler is returning for another slide lecture.  Her September presentation was a fascinating broad sweep of an examination of the connections between the Industrial Revolution and the birth of Modern Art.  Her November 16 presentation offers an in-depth look at the life and art of Claude Monet, views of his garden at Giverney with attention given to the relationship of his gardens to his mature works, and glimpses of other artists in his circle of friends.  Lyndy has a rich slide collection to share, insights and anecdotes to offer,  and will allow time for questions and discussions.

Linda gives us an excerpt of her lecture here:

The French Impressionists: Modern Men (& Women) in Black

The French Impressionists are often thought of as a group, but each artist had his or her own distinctive style, subject preferences, and working techniques.  The use of photography and the choice of religious subject matter are but two examples of their many differences.  Initially, the Inpressionists were rejected by the French salon, the official arbiter of taste for all of France.  Acceptance by the salon could dramatically affect the careers and fortunes of French artists.  The small rejected group borrowed exhibition space from the French photographer Nadar and staged a series of eight modest exhibitions that were accompanied by paper catalogs containing printed lists of the works shown.  These scarce documents reveal a history of a group fraught with self-doubts and disagreeents, many of which were hashed out at a nearby cafe.  Far from behaving as a cohesive group, some artists dropped out of the exhibitions, then later rejoined the group or didn’t,  One of the more famous French Impressionists was Claude Monet, who was wealthy enough to acquire an estate in Giverny where he constructed his garden and pursued his talents in cooking.  He invited numerous artists from France, Europe, and America to join him at Giverny for extended stays.  While there,the guests would paint and exchange ideas with one another.  How large was Giverny?  Who stayed at Giverny?  Amidst the ten thousand works of art produced each year in France, how did the Impressionists get noticed?  What made their diverse body of work “Impressionist”?  Why is their work so important for the history of art?  Why is French Impressionism so loved that it brings the highest auction prices?  Today we see their paintings populated by modern men and women in black enjoying themselves “in the moment”.  We see a delightful, rather carefree and sunny world full of fun and enjoyment of their surroundings, the weather, and each other.  Is that the world they really inhabited?   We shall explore these topics and Monet’s Giverny.

Submitted by John Brownfield