When masterpieces are exhibited in a shopping center, the chemistry can be right if one look at its charms appeals to tens of thousands of visitors who have booked tickets days in advance to have a look at Monet’s life story. Wu Yiyao reports in Shanghai.
The first ever exhibition of Claude Monet’s works on the Chinese mainland is ongoing at Shanghai K11’s Chi Space. On show are 40 masterpieces of the great Impressionist, spanning from his childhood sketches to the art created during his last days, together with 12 works from Monet’s friends, all Impressionist masters of his time.
All of the works exhibited are from the Paris Marmottan Monet Museum, which is also the home of many of Monet’s works bequeathed by his son Michel Monet.
When asked how the current exhibition is different from recent shows featuring Impressionistic works in China, Marianne Mathieu, assistant director of the Paris Marmottan Monet Museum, says: “The exhibition opens a door for visitors to see Monet’s life and his home, drawing visitors closer to Monet’s inner world.”
Wang Xiaoye, a 32-year-old visitor, says: “It is interesting to see Monet and his friends paint each other and their family members. It is not only evidence of the close friendship between the artists, but also a presentation of the masters’ skills and their perspectives of life.”
Alongside Monet’s famous Water Lily series, four paintings themed Japanese Bridge are presented. Based on a bridge in the painter’s garden, the four paintings were done between 1818 and 1819. They are similar in size but totally different in colors, shades and light, a vivid description of Monet’s Impressionism.
“The key way to appreciate and understand Monet’s paintings is to know his way of painting … That is, to capture a moment of light and color in nature,” Mathieu says. To put it clearer, it is not to see what he painted, but see how he painted.