‘Monet in Chicago’ – Temporary Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago

Claude Monet (1840-1926) led a group of artists that used to left the studio to work outdoors and capture scenes from modern life. Together, these artists became known as the Impressionists, and their work seemed shockingly crude to many contemporary viewers back in those years, even though its ‘impressionistic’ effect was the result of careful observation and technique.

Chicago embraced Monet and this radical new movement as the city rebuilt in the wake of the Great Fire of 1871. Paintings by the artist were exhibited at the 1890 Inter-State Industrial Exposition and the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893 with the intention of encouraging participation in a growing American art market. The Art Institute of Chicago hosted Monet’s first solo exhibition outside a commercial gallery in 1895 and, in 1903, became the first American museum to buy one of his paintings.

Monet and Chicago is the first exhibition to consider the city’s unique relationship with the artist and celebrate its essential role in popularizing modern art in the United States.

After visiting this temporary exhibition two times over the last couple of months, these are the paintings, objects and quotes that captured my attention:

The Beach at Sainte-Adresse (1867)

Oil on Canvas

On the bank of the Seine, Bennecourt (1868)

Oil on Canvas

The Artist’s House at Argenteui (1873)

Oil on Canvas

Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint Lazare (1877)

Oil on Canvas

Luncheon under the Tent, Giverny (About 1883-1886)

Oil on Canvas

Near Monte Carlo (1883)

Oil on Canvas

Etretat: The Beach and the Falaise D’Amont (1885)

Oil on Canvas

The Needle Rock at Low Tide, Etretat (1883)

Oil on Canvas

The two photos above present a letter from Paul Durand-Ruel to W. M. R. French and list of works for the March 1895 Art Institute exhibition, February 16, 1895.

The two photos above present part of Monet’s work as a caricaturist when he was just fifteen years old.

Houses of Parliament, London (1900/1)

Oil on Canvas

Water Lilly Pond (1900)

Oil on Canvas

The exhibition includes some videos that explain Monet’s technique and present interesting research about his paintings. Such videos are also presented in this website.

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