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Wander through Monet’s garden at TFAM in Taipei

By Yali Chen

(Photo Courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum)The Taipei Fine Arts Museum (TFAM) is holding its first exclusive exhibition of French artist Claude Monet’s oil paintings from March 5 to June 5. The exhibit features an interesting variety of his landscape paintings and compositions of flowers created at his home in Giverny in northern France.

A total of 32 masterpieces by Monet are on loan from the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Musee Marmottan Monet in Paris, which has the largest collection of Monet’s artworks in the world.

“The best way to get to know Monet is through his works, and this is a great opportunity for Taiwanese viewers to look at them closely,” said Marie-Catherine Croix, Assistant to the Director of the Musee Marmottan Monet in a press conference over the weekend. “Just imagine you are wandering in Monet’s beautiful garden as you look at his paintings.”

A key figure from the French Impressionism school, Monet drew inspiration from his gorgeous garden in Giverny, which had irises, poplars, waterlilies in a pond, and an arched bridge over the pond – the well-known Japanese Bridge.

--The Waterlily Pond-- an oil painting by French artist Claude Monet. (Photo Courtesy of Taipei Fine Arts Museum)Visitors can admire many of the artist’s well-known paintings such as “Waterlilies,” “The Waterlily Pond,” “The Japanese Bridge,” and “Poplars on the Epte” at the Taipei exhibition titled “Monet Garden.”

Hailed as the purest practitioner of Impressionistic ideas, Monet is renowned for his ability to capture changes in natural light as well as shadows.

His artistic style and abstract strokes deeply affected American Impressionists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Croix said.

Monet, born in 1840 in Paris, studied drawing from the age of 15 thanks to support from his aunt. He rose to prominence with his painting “Impression, Sunrise” in 1872, a work which changed artistic styles in the history of Western arts.

The Taipei City Government has offered 260,000 tickets for students from elementary to senior high schools in an effort to promote better aesthetic education among the city’s citizens.