Monet-Auburtin. An Artistic Encounter

Exhibition from March 22 to July 14, 2019

To mark the tenth anniversary of its opening, the musée des impressionnismes Giverny has decided to celebrate the work of Claude Monet (1840–1926) by interweaving it with that of the painter Jean Francis Auburtin (1866-1930).

At first sight, their careers, separated by nearly a quarter of a century, seem to have little in common. The son of a shipping agent, Monet grew up in Le Havre within the merchant bourgeoisie, while Auburtin came from a milieu of architects strongly influenced by Greek culture. Monet’s academic training was limited to a short period in Charles Gleyre’s studio, as he quickly developed a preference for plein air landscape painting. Auburtin, for his part, entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1888. Although his academic training was that of a history painters, he also turned out to be a great landscape painter.

Impressed by Monet’s work, which was exhibited regularly in Paris around 1889–90, he started painting from nature. Drawing on Impressionism, Synthetism, Japonism and Symbolism, Auburtin created an oeuvre that was based on a constant dialogue with nature. As the older artist had done before him, he would set up his easel on the rocky coastlines of Brittany, Normandy and the Mediterranean places where sky, earth and sea came together. Although he painted in series, Auburtin was less intent on capturing the changes in atmosphere and light that Monet was drawn to, preferring solidly constructed compositions, with layers of rocks and grand natural settings. Although his approach was consistent with Monet’s aims, his work focused more on capturing the permanence of the elements and revealing the state of the world at its beginning.

The exhibition brings together a large selection of Auburtin’s paintings and drawings, together with several of Monet’s most remarkable works with the aim of presenting two different visions of the same landscapes.

Géraldine Lefebvre, PhD in Art History

Exhibition organised by the musée des impressionnismes Giverny with the exceptional support of the musée d’Orsay, Paris and the assistance of Francine and Michel Quentin and the Association Les Amis et les descendants de Jean Francis Auburtin.



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