Markus finds this is indeed an inspiring exhibition
Monet and Van Gogh are certainly household names when it comes to the art world, particularly when anyone is nattering about the Impressionists. But what about Daubigny? I’m going to be wholly truthful and admit that I certainly wasn’t as familiar with his work as other said names. But in some ways, that’s what makes this such a wonderful exhibition. It truly celebrates this figure who essentially gave birth to this whole movement. And not only that, but helped to nurture the up and coming artists of the time, if not in person then through the very body of work that he produced and how it came to influence them.
He was born in 1817 and he got his start in life as a painter, as his father was also one too. His work is not in the vein of the Impressionists as such, as they can be quite vibrant with colours and their styles can be wild brush strokes which culminate in these vibrant paintings. But you can see that he can be a bit liberal and loose with the details, essentially just giving a first impression of what’s happening in the scene.
There is one painting in this exhibit that I think was one of the most beautiful paintings I have ever seen, it was called “Moonrise at Auvers”. It depicts a shepherd and his flock within a field as the full moon rises and its light glistens upon them. Particularly the way the moon shines, I found it almost hypnotic and I must have sat there drinking this painting in for at least fifteen minutes! And just before I left, I made sure I went back to give it one last bit of my attention.
It interesting how later in life, that he started taking influence from his students. I’m not saying it went all “Star Wars” with Monet becoming the master, but it’s clear that in some of his paintings that he’s being inspired by his young friends. This is around the period when they along with Pissarro became refugees in England as the Franco-Prussian war kicked off.
When I was younger I could have had the opportunity to see a room filled with waterlily paintings from Monet’s garden, but alas I missed that chance, and I’ve always had something of a quiet regret about it. But here I got to stand in the gallery and around me were all these poppy paintings by Daubigny, Monet and Van Gogh. So in ways I think that kind of made up for it.
Also the gallery has created something which truly shows their reverence for the old master, where they’ve built a copy of his studio boat that he had so many artistic adventures in, and which are also chronicled within the exhibit.
I had only one regret whilst I was there that afternoon. I was disappointed to see that some people seemed to be paying more attention to the descriptions written beside the paintings than the pictures themselves, or that others were attempting to take photos on their phones. Mind you the security staff were pretty tight on policing that. It’s a shame that those folk didn’t make the time to just sit there for a while and let those paintings engulf them.
Be sure to get there soon and have your time with this great man’s work and all of those he inspired before this exhibit comes to its end on October 2nd.