The largest and richest collection of Impressionist paintings ever to come to New Zealand, Monet and the Impressionists was only at Te Papa. The exhibition is now closed.
This was a rare chance to see some of the world's most famous and best-loved Impressionist paintings, including Claude Monet's Meadow with poplars, Camille Monet and a child in the artist's garden in Argenteuil, and works from his Water Lily, Haystacks, and Rouen Cathedral series. Twenty-seven works by Monet were displayed alongside masterpieces by Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Sisley, Cézanne, and others.
Monet and the Impressionists was jointly organised by the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (MFA), home to one of the world's leading collections of Impressionist art, and the Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and was presented by Te Papa in association with the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW).
In the late 1800s, Boston became a centre for those interested in modern French painting, and in Claude Monet in particular. American artists, collectors, and museums were far more enthusiastic than their European counterparts in their response to Impressionist painting – much to the dismay of the Impressionists themselves. Monet complained to his art dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, in 1888: 'It breaks my heart to see all of my paintings leave for America.'
Durand-Ruel began to ship large consignments of French paintings to New York and Boston during the 1880s. His conquest of the American market was such a success that, today, the United States is home to more Impressionist paintings than any other country in the world. Some of the bequests that form the basis of the MFA's Impressionist collection derive from these early sales, and the Museum has continued to expand its holdings ever since.
Monet and the Impressionists is structured in seven parts:
Artists featured in the exhibition: