No, not a new museum! Per first of October, The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum changed its name into Kunstmuseum Den Haag. Here, a temporary exhibition opened Saturday, 12th of October 2019. It is full of paintings created by Claude Monet at Giverny between roughly 1900 to 1926. Honestly: this is an absolute must-visit exhibition!
Five long years and an awful lot of hard work went into creating this exhibition. Of course, one of the Monet paintings this museum owns, takes pride of place. It is the now fully restored “Wisteria”. It belongs to a series of just seven, which Monet created towards the end of his long career.
Monet intended this series to be hung above a similar series of waterlily-paintings. Unfortunately, the space for which Monet’s Grandes Décorations changed. Visited the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris? Then you know the water-lilies are stunning, but no wisteria in sight.
In fact, after Monet’s death, the Kunstmuseum’s “Wisteria” was among many works left and forgotten in Monet’s abandoned studio. Difficult to imagine now, but his garden paintings were deemed dated works, created by an old artist going blind. Only after an exhibition organized by the The Hague museum and a Zürich museum in 1952, did people start to appreciate Monet’s waterlilies and related works created at Giverny.
In preparation for this exhibition, the Kunstmuseum’s “Wisteria” was studied and restored. You may have heard the result: experts discovered Monet had reused a canvas. Traces of waterlilies appeared on photos, but while admiring this work, visitors will be unable to discover any lilies.
Instead, visitors come across the The Hague “Wisteria” in one of the last rooms of the exhibition. Here it hangs together with three others from the series, on loan from other museums. But of course, these wisterias are not the only works which dazzle.
Lovers of Monet’s waterlilies are in for a treat too! Here are studies, oil-painting sketches and finished works, showing how Monet kept experimenting and altering his style to capture impressions of changing skies, weather, sun, moon, clouds in his water-landscapes.
Visitors come across many famous works, including one of the Japanese bridge from London’s National Gallery. Other works are from American, Swiss and other museums. Most works are however loans from the famous Musée Marmottan, in Paris.
Not that the museum only shows Monets. Difficult to miss: a modern work of art called ‘Floating Sky’ by Ursula Palla, clearly inspired by Monet’s waterlilies, covers part of one of the ponds in front of the building. Inside, between the Monet exhibition and the exhilarating fashion exhibition “Let’s Dance!”, visitors find a work by artists Daniel Mancini and Inti Velez Botero (Spanish Wanda Barcelona) inspired by Monet’s weeping willows and wisterias.
Online ticket-sales for this exhibition started 1st of October 2019. Want to see the stunning Monets or any of the other exhibitions on offer? For the duration of the Monet exhibition, which closes 2nd of February 2020, there is an extra charge of € 3.50. Visit the museum’s website for all information.
Kate, for The Hague Online
Image, with museum’s permission: Claude Monet [1840-1926], Blauweregen, 1917-1920, olieverf op doek, 150,5 x 200,5 cm, Kunstmuseum Den Haag.