On the Riviera, Monet travels towards abstraction

On the occasion of the 140th anniversary of the painter’s first contact with Monaco, in 1883 in the company of Auguste Renoir, Marianne Mathieu built an exhibition showing how this maiden voyage, the three-month stay in the same region in 1884 and the next one in 1888 constituted a turning point in his career. The hundred works presented at the Grimaldi Forum, from numerous international institutions and private collections, document Monet’s approach to design before, during and after these two stays.

In 1884, he organized his first campaign on the motif and began his series which he systematized in 1888: “It was then that he took a new step,writes Marianne Mathieu in the catalog. He further streamlines his approach. […] The power of the place imposes itself. […] Between Cap d’Antibes and Juan-les-Pins, he starts from nine points of view for thirty-eight canvases whereas he had treated twenty-six for forty-six paintings during his previous stay on the Riviera. » The result will be the choice to paint only the garden of Giverny which will lead him to a form of abstraction.

Two Monte Carlo seen from Roquebrune (1883) are brought together for the first time and it is an unprecedented public presentation of The Nervia Valley with Dolceacqua (1884). Thanks to an interactive device, visitors can situate the landscapes of the twenty-one canvases painted in Monaco, Bordighera, Sasso, Dolceacqua, Cap Martin and Antibes forming the heart of the exhibition.

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