Monet on the River
Today i dropped in at the MFA in Houston to see the newly hung show of a select group of paintings by Monet.
It has been up just two days and there were quite a few people there including several groups of school children armed with discussion sheets and pencils and a teacher/chaperone who cajoled them into looking at yet another grouping.
The show was grouped by area of the Seine River; Monet was from a shipping company and was in the family business as a youngster but left to become a painter. He spent some time in London and also in Paris but spent a great deal of time painting various spots along the Seine. The Seine freezes over in the winter and when the ice breaks up there are huge ice floes that crash into the riverbanks. Some parts of the Seine are quite placid enabling sailing regattas but Monet found the fleeting quickly turning boats too challenging to paint and so he concentrated on those tethered in the port.
Some of the paintings are quite dark with a very small palette of color; viridian green and gray; others are more typical of what we expect; soft pastels that shimmer. Most of the pieces are best seen at a distance of many feet; a challenge when there are people inspecting the paintings from only a foot or so away.
I ran out of time before I could look at the contemporary art display adjoining Monet’s but did manage to collect a few postcards==but none of my favorite one of two boats moored with the bows pointing at the viewer.