Monet-Auburtin: an Artistic Meeting at Giverny

Monet-Auburtin: an Artistic Meeting at Giverny

28 mars 2019 | PAR Megan Winters

Side by side, the paintings of Claude Monet and Jean-Francis Auburtin sing a delightful duet. Those entirely focused on the melody of Monet may forget Auburtin’s harmony, but make no mistake–the best way to view either artist is to observe their works together and listen to the conversation. The Musée des impressionnismes Giverny creates this artistic meeting highlighting the translation of color and light, creating dialogue between the artists, the paintings, and every person who regards them.

The exhibition is an impressionistic tour of France–from Normandy to Brittany, the Belle-Île to the French Riviera, the display travels as Monet did through rooms of illuminated masterpieces. However, directly beside Monet’s paintings are Auburtin’s interpretations. Auburtin followed in Monet’s footsteps, artistically and literally, and he set his own eyes on the same shorelines, the same craggy rock formations, the same trees and branches as Monet. Even while using the same motifs, Auburtin’s paintings have an entirely new perspective to give. Two eyes do not always see the same tree. Two visions do not always see the same shoreline. Auburtin and Monet prove this nicely, complementing one another and beginning the discussion. Through the artwork, a new pattern in the conversation emerges: Monet speaks, and 10 years later, Auburtin echoes.

Claude Monet L’Aiguille et la Falaise d’Aval, 1885
Jean Francis Auburtin L’Aiguille d’Étretat, ciel rouge, vers 1898-1900

While this is a space for Auburtin to work with Monet, the exhibition highlights some of Auburthin’s original works and the conversations he creates within his own ouevre. The first conversation is one in which the real meets the fantastic. A portrait of Auburtin’s mother stares onto the wall of seascapes decorated with goddess-like nymphs. The woman as a person is speaking with the woman as a goddess, a common theme in this row of paintings. But fantasy is no stranger here; while the portraits of the Belle-Ile depict a real place, they could easily pass as fantastical terrain under the interpretations of these impressionists. 

As Monet and Auburtin’s progression through the years and across the map is charted, a final voice is added to create an artistic trio of landscapes and seascapes. George W Thornley’s lithographs of Monet’s works are presented alongside each other and some of the original works. This particularly highlights the effect of color in this artistic conversation as well as Auburtin’s individuality. While Monet supplied much of his inspiration and he studied the master of impressionism throughout his life, Auburtin’s mission to translate the color of light creates the conversation that every artist possesses a different vision of expression, even on the same subjects.

Claude Monet Au Cap d’Antibes, 1888
Jean-Francis Auburtin Cap des Medes (Porquerolles), 1896

« Monet-Auburtin: an Artistic Meeting » complements the museum, the gardens, and the home of Monet with a new depth that Monet’s paintings alone could not achieve. Auburtin and Thornley are the perfect artistic companions for this season at Giverny, not to be missed by those who want to appreciate the individuality of impressionism. 


©Claude Monet
L’Aiguille et la Falaise d’Aval, 1885
Huile sur toile, 65,1 x 81,3 cm.
Williamstown, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

©Jean Francis Auburtin
L’Aiguille d’Étretat, ciel rouge, vers 1898-1900
Gouache sur papier, 50,5 x 66,6 cm.
Collection particulière

©Claude Monet
Au cap d’Antibes, 1888
Huile sur toile, 65 x 92 cm.
Ehime, musée départemental des Beaux-Arts

©Jean Francis Auburtin
Cap des Mèdes (Porquerolles), 1896
Huile sur toile, 65 x 92 cm.
Collection particulière

Chicago: a Center of Brut Art
Musée du quai Branly : Angélique Delorme nommée Directrice générale déléguée adjointe
Megan Winters

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