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Hiramatsu Reiji. Symphony of Water Lilies

In 2013, the musée des impressionnismes Giverny organized a major exhibition dedicated to the art of Hiramatsu Reiji. It was a discovery for many visitors. Since then, the French public’s interest in his work has never waned. Hiramatsu’s art is singular, foreign, both close and distant. No doubt because many French people have never been to Japan (nor Monet for that matter) but dream of it; and also because Hiramatsu’s paintings and drawings seem familiar and recall what the public loves in Giverny: impressionism and Claude Monet (1840-1926). In 1994, Hiramatsu discovered the Grandes Décorations of the Orangerie in Paris: it was a revelation for the artist as he only knew reproductions.

Master of the nihonga technique (Japanese painting), Hiramatsu then applied an age-old tradition to transcribe an impressionist subject: Giverny, the water lily pond but also the Normandy coast.

I constantly dream of Giverny, says Hiramatsu. This obsession is the most beautiful tribute to this small Norman village which now defines itself as the homeland of Monet.

Evoking the art of Hiramatsu Reiji is like trying to define a drop of water in a pond: as if it were impossible to penetrate the inherent beauty of each work. Fascinated by the pond at Claude Monet’s house, Reiji evokes its reflections in colorful ranges, throughout the seasons. He is also interested in the shimmering bursts of color on poplars, weeping willows or water lilies…

The format of the screen allows him to deploy his view over large areas such as the Water Lilies of the Orangerie. Some of Monet’s methods inspire him for his own creations, such as the absence of perspective, the taste for the simplification of forms, the detail of plants, and a certain frontality.

Following the exhibition dedicated to him, the musée des impressionnismes acquired a set of paintings and drawings by Hiramatsu, a collection supplemented by drawings, notebooks and his creative materials. In total, 74 works are preserved, including 10 screens or pairs of screens, 22 panels, 1 print, 2 drawing books, 25 independent drawings.

Reiji’s unique style seduces: his great expressive strength and his taste for saturated colors combine with an inspiration drawn from the heart of Japanese tradition. Between the ukiyo-e print, the screen and the tondo, the range of Hiramatsu’s proposals reveals a talent of his own. His tireless quest for beauty is combined with a call for serenity in the face of Nature, the most beautiful lesson learned from Claude Monet.

The Symphony of Water Lilies exhibition, presented in the summer of 2024, will present 14 new screens recently acquired by the musée des impressionnismes Giverny, in relation to the theme of the cycle of the seasons, around the water lily pond.

Curator: Cyrille Sciama, General Director of the musée des impressionnismes Giverny, chief curator of heritage.

This exhibition is part of the program of the Normandy Impressionist 2024 festival, which will be held from March 22 to September 22, 2024.

Under the patronage of the Embassy of Japan in France

Practical information

Opening days

Exhibition presented from July 12 to November 3, 2024.

Prices

Full price | Concession price

  • Adults: €12 | €9
  • Audioguide : €4/person (FR or EN)

Free entry for:

  • Visitors under 18.
  • All Eure residents on the first Sunday of the months of August and September (proof of residency required).
  • All individual visitors on the first Sunday of the months of October and November.

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Patronage

Our patrons and partners

The museum warmly thanks the patrons and partners of this exhibition.

Patrons and partners

  • Logo Capza, mécène du musée des impressionnismes Giverny