Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies


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Saturday, October 20th, 2018 from 2-4pm

“Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies” by Ross King

Guest Speaker: Artist Andrew Nixon

Free and open to all. 

Reservations are requested, but not required by Friday, October 19th: 508-222-2644  x10 or office@attleboroartsmuseum.org

 

Claude Monet is perhaps the world’s most beloved artist. Among all his creations, the paintings of the water lilies in his garden at Giverny are the most famous. Seeing them in museums around the world, viewers are transported by the power of Monet’s brush into a peaceful world of harmonious nature. Monet himself intended them to provide “an asylum of peaceful meditation.” Yet these beautiful canvases belie the intense frustration Monet experienced at the difficulties of capturing the fugitive effects of light, shade, depth and color. Their calmness and beauty also conceal the terrible personal torments—the loss of loved ones, the horrors of World War I, the infirmities of age—that he suffered in the last dozen years of his life.

Mad Enchantment tells the full story behind the creation of the Water Lilies. The history of these remarkable canvases begins early in 1914, when French newspapers began reporting that Monet, by then 73 and one of the world’s wealthiest, most celebrated painters, had retired his brushes. He had lost his beloved wife, Alice, and his eldest son, Jean. His famously acute vision—what Paul Cezanne called “the most prodigious eye in the history of painting”—was threatened by cataracts. And yet, despite ill health, self-doubt, and advancing age, Monet began painting again, this time on a more ambitious scale than ever before.

Linking great artistic achievement to the personal and historical dramas unfolding around it, Mad Enchantment presents the most intimate and revealing portrait of an iconic figure in world culture—from his lavish lifestyle and tempestuous personality to his close friendship with the fiery war leader Georges Clemenceau, who regarded the Water Lilies as one of the highest expressions of the human spirit.

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New York Times Book Review: ‘[A]n engaging and authoritative portrait of the aged artist and his travails … The Monet who emerges from King’s pages is a sympathetic and vivid character.’

Newsday: ‘Sensitive, deeply researched and altogether delightful.’

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Guest Speaker Andrew Nixon

Andrew Nixon’s paintings explore stillness, time and light. His influences range from ancient Egyptian sculpture to the paintings of Danish Modernist Wilhelm Hammershøi. A native of Rhode Island, he holds a BFA degree from the School of Visual Arts at Boston University and an MFA from Indiana University’s Hope School of Fine Arts. Nixon’s paintings have been widely exhibited in numerous one-person and group shows in the United States and Europe. His work is in the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, the Newport Art Museum, the Stewartry Museum in Scotland, and several corporate collections. He is a winner of the 2012-13 Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant. He has taught studio art for many years, most recently to medical students at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

 

Learn more about the Art Lovers Book Club

 

Top: Water Lilies Agapanthus (detail), 1914-1917 by Claude Monet

 

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