Sunday, 7 February 2016

painting the modern garden: monet to matisse

On Wednesday afternoon I hotfooted it to The Royal Academy to see their spring exhibition, Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse and my goodness, should everyone go. As a lover of art and gardens this was an extravaganza for my eyes. Bathed in light and amongst a haze of greenery the exhibition seeks to provide its visitor with a deeper understanding of how gardens served as a universal, multifaceted source of inspiration for artists of the modern era. It is a wonderful dedication to the pastoral nature of keeping a garden and using it as the root to a creative vision; I really couldn't recommend it any more. 

Rather than give you a vaguely academic reading of the exhibition, I'll just keep it short and sweet and say you absolutely must go and see it. Even if you're not a huge art fan, lover of the Impressionists or prefer your art appreciation to be of a spontaneous nature, I don't care. This exhibition is worth planning a visit for. Come from far and wide, you'll not see another thing like it I can assure you. Do expect crowds and lots of people your granny's age so choose your time carefully and be prepared to keep calm and carry on. 

The exhibition is plotted like a garden itself and wends its way throughout the years, encompassing avant garde compositions, 18th century seed catalogues, Monet's water lilies and the fashion for artist colonies across Europe. However, it is the breath-takingly beautiful climax of Monet's huge panoramic view of water lilies in the final space which will completely blow you away. Composed of three huge panels, the water lilies are some of the artist's finest works. You will need at least 20 minutes here to take everything in. It is quite unbelievable when you realise Monet's sight was failing him during the later part of his life. 

Now, photos are not allowed, however room attendants don't seem to be in this final space so everyone was snapping away so rather sheepishly I shot from the hip too. 'Scuse the quality, was feeling v. rebellious/anxious. 

The exhibition runs 'til 20th April meaning you have no excuse not to visit. I promise it won't disappoint; I'm even considering going back again as there was just so much to see. 

I hope you haven't blown away this weekend, The American and I have been in St. Albans and spent much of the time eating, drinking and watching films to hide from the weather. We're now back in SW18 getting ready for the week ahead. Weekends never seem long enough, do they? 


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