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“Monet en pleine lumière”, at the Grimaldi Forum until 3 September 2023, is one of the largest solo exhibitions on the artist in the last decade.


Bringing together some hundred pieces from around the world, dating from 1870 to 1925, the “Monet in Full Light” exhibition offers a new look at the impressionist master’s work. Curated by Marianne Mathieu, this solo exhibition explores the time spent by the artist on the Riviera — “a pivotal moment in his life”.

In 1883 when he moved to Giverny, Monet, still seeking inspiration, made his first trip to Monte-Carlo and the Riviera with his friend Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He fell in love with the region, writing in a letter to his partner Alice Hoschedé that “Monte-Carlo remains a most beautiful place, but there are many people.” He returned alone in 1884 and 1888, marking an end to painting sessions with partners.

Canotiers à Argenteuil, 1874 - Huile sur toile 61,9 x 80 cm - Collection Nahmad © crédit photo Collection Nahmad
Antibes, 1888 - Huile sur toile - 65,4 x 81,3 cm - Mexico, Collection Pérez Simón ©Arturo Piera

In Monte-Carlo, Roquebrune, Bordighera and later Antibes, the figurehead of impressionism followed his obsessive quest to capture light. The Riviera offered him a new palette of colours and “heralded his famous ‘Antibes Seen from La Salis’ series of 23 paintings of the Fort of Antibes in every kind of weather,” produced during his stays on the Riviera. This is the first time these works, from different collections, including that of the Prince’s Palace of Monaco, are being exhibited in close proximity to the still existing sites where they were painted. “Monet in Full Light” is rich with input from local historians — specialists of the region “who studied local archives and explored these Riviera locations up and down in detail”, explains Marianne Mathieu.

« This is an historical event. Never — even during Monet’s lifetime — have so many works painted in the Midi region been exhibited together in France.»

Marianne Mathieu, curator of « Monet en pleine lumière ».

Nymphéas, 1914-1917 - Huile sur toile, 200 x 200 cm - Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris

Organised with the support of the Marmottan Museum of Monet in Paris, the exhibition brings together over thirty works on loan from private collections, including those of the Prince of Monaco and major international institutions.  Three of the exhibited paintings belong to the Palace: The Banks of the Seine at Courbevoie (1878), Apple Trees in Bloom (1879), and Monte-Carlo: view of Roquebrune (1884).

The 2,500 square-metre exhibition includes a section on the Giverny period and the painter’s garden, as well as the pivotal period of 1914–1918 during which Monet painted his Water Lilies series. Visitors (re)discover how Monet, who saw two of his children sent to the front, created a message of hope by painting a universe of harmony in response to the war.  At the request of his friend Georges Clémenceau, France’s ‘father of victory’, Monet offered his Water Lilies to France as a symbol of peace.

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