Modernity at the MET

After going to the MET on the weekend to see the Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity  exhibition, I have decided I could quite easily live in a Monet painting. All that colour and light is so deliciously inviting, you can almost smell the flowers. With such beauty it seems unbelievable that artists like Monet could have been criticized in their day. But the challenge he and his new wave colleagues presented to the status quo was in the daring reality of ‘compositions that paint our time’, with a style somewhere between portraiture and everyday life. This could be painting light and shadow on a woman’s dress or exposing a foot peeking from beneath a skirt. Quelle horreur! The fashion in painting was changing in the 1860’s – 1880’s as much as the fashion in clothing was changing, and artists like Monet, Manet and Renoir were pivotal in their role of putting Paris on the map as the fashion capital of the world.

The role of fashion in the works of the Impressionists is central to the MET’s exhibition and features paintings, photographs and prints with period gowns, girdles and hats. The dress worn in the painting was the same dress you saw before you in a glass case. As with the Alexander McQueen exhibition last year, using these different mediums, along with many quotes from Emile Zola, helped to create a real understanding of the time and the politics of painting. So it was a joy to see Monet’s ‘Luncheon on the Grass’ now hanging in one of the most famous museums in the world, when it had once been used to pay the artist’s rent and relegated by the landlord to storage in the basement.

No photographs were allowed inside the exhibition because of copyright restrictions. So on this occasion I have used the Museum’s marketing poster to show the dates and inspire the planning of your visit. While the beauty of Monet’s garden is being felt in the blossoming of Spring all over NYC, it seems a perfect time to spin a parasol in the park and maybe read a little Zola…


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1 Response to Modernity at the MET

  1. Dallas Colley says:

    Thank you Gabrielle, how marvelous and took me back to Paris and my Monet moment, where indeed I did feel like I was living in the waterlily paintings. Hearts to you

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