Under a cloudy, uncertain sky we headed to the Marmottan Monet Museum at the edge of Paris’ 16th arrondissement to see Les Impressionistes en Privé (Impressionist Works from Private Collections). We stood in line for about 30 minutes, and, despite the crowd, it was worth the wait.
To celebrate its 80th anniversary, the Museum brought together 100 masterpieces coming from private collections in the US, France, Mexico, Switzerland, Great Britain and Italy, so this was a rare opportunity to admire paintings that are normally not on public display,
The paintings and sculpture of 15 artists are presented chronologically, starting with the emergence of Impressionism in the mid-1870’s. The exhibition then focuses on the 80’s and 90’s, when members of the Impressionist group started to follow their own creative paths. The show ends with the later works of Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley and Monet, works that go beyond Impressionism and open the door to modern art.
Also included in the exhibit are paintings by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Eugène Boudin, Berthe Morisot, Johan Barthold Jongkind, Gustave Caillebotte, Armand Guillaumin, Paul Cézanne, Auguste Rodin, Edgar Degas, among others.
Paintings by one artist are sometimes grouped together to allow us to observe their artistic development, or they may be grouped by theme, such as the paintings of trees by Sisley, Pissarro and Monet. The exhibit ends with two paintings done by Monet at the start of the 20th century, showing the evolution of his creative genius.
The Marmottan Monet is one of the world’s leading Impressionist museums, and after viewing the show we headed downstairs to revisit the wonderful collection “Impression Soleil Levant” (Impression: Sunrise). This is a feast for the eyes for lovers of Monet’s paintings. Part of the Marmottan’s permanent collection, there is the famous sunrise painting, as well as many renderings of the Nymphéas, the Japanese bridge and garden at Giverney. Through Monet’s eyes we see the beauty in ordinary things: a train entering the station, a railway bridge, a village street….
The Impressionistes en Privé show runs to 6th July. If you are in Paris between now and then, buy a skip the line ticket and enjoy the light and color.
Musée Marmottan Monet, 2, rue Louis-Boilly, Paris 16
Tel: 01 44 96 50 33.
Metro: La Muette (Line 9); Bus: 22, 32, 52, 63, PC; RER C – Boulainvilliers station
Open Tu-Sun, 10:00-18:00, open to 20:00 on Thurs, Closed Mon and 1 Jan, 1 May and 25 Dec.