Lines and Colors art blog

Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River, MFA Houston

Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River, MFA Houston
Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River is an exhibition currently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston that collects over 50 works related to the French Impressionist’s lifelong fascination with the river at the heart of Paris and, metaphorically, at the heart of France.

Monet was known for his series paintings, in which he set about painting the same scene repeatedly in different light, weather and seasons — most notably his series of his garden, the water lilies, haystacks and the facade of the Rouen Cathedral.

Less well recognized are several series he painted of views from particular vantage points along the Seine, which can cumulatively be thought of as part of a much larger series of paintings of the river, encompassing a significant part of his oeuvre.

Like so many museums that seem resolutely clueless about using their website to generate interest in their exhibition by posting images of paintings in the exhibition, the MFAH serves up only a piddling slideshow and a one minute teaser video as meager clues to what pieces might await visitors.

The exhibition was organized in cooperation with the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa — where it was on display earlier this year — and their site isn’t any better at showing what to expect from the exhibit, other than a similarly stingy slideshow. Between the two sites and a review on the Houston Chronicle, I’ve put together in the images above what I could in the way of a selection of paintings that are in the exhibition.

To go on from there, for those of us who can’t visit in person, we must content ourselves with more general resources, like a Google image search for “Claude Monet” and “Seine”, and a Google Art Project search for high resolution images of the same topic (any of which may or may not be relevant to the exhibition), as well as more generalized image resources for images by Monet like Wikimedia Commons and The Athenaeum, from which we are left to our own devices to pick out views of the river.

There is a catalog accompanying the exhibition, but I have not seen it.

Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River, MFA, Houston, to February 1, 2015