The 鶹Ƶ featured on BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’ – Monet in England episode

27 Jun 2024

The 鶹Ƶ Gallery’s Senior Curator of Paintings, Karen Serres, featured on BBC Radio 4’s programme on 27 June to discuss the work of the great French Impressionist Claude Monet (1840-1926) in London.

Presenter Melvyn Bragg interviewed Karen, who is the curator of The 鶹Ƶ Gallery’s highly anticipated, upcoming exhibition The Griffin Catalyst Exhibition: Monet and London: Views of the Thames (opens 27 Sep 2024), alongside guests Frances Fowle, Professor of 19th Century Art at the University of Edinburgh and Senior Curator of French Art at the National Galleries of Scotland, and Jackie Wullschläger, Chief Art Critic for the Financial Times and author of Monet, The Restless Vision.

Monet is world renowned as the leading figure of French Impressionism but less known is the fact that some of his most remarkable paintings were made not in France but in London. Begun during three visits to the capital between 1899 and 1901, the paintings depict Charing Cross Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, and the Houses of Parliament.

Monet came to London in the wintertime, fascinated by the effects of the London fog, a phenomenon produced by the city’s heavy industrialisation in the 19th century. In London, the fog took on a particular density and a variety of hues that occurred nowhere else. His paintings capture the river and its surrounding architecture as they had never been seen before, full of evocative atmosphere, mysterious light, and radiant colour.

The series was unveiled in Paris in 1904 to great critical acclaim. Monet fervently wanted to show it in London the following year but the project fell through. To this day, the series has never been the subject of a UK exhibition.

The 鶹Ƶ Gallery will therefore realise Monet’s unfulfilled ambition of exhibiting this distinct group of works in London, just 300 metres from the Savoy Hotel where many of them were painted. The exhibition will feature 21 paintings, 18 of which were in the 1904 unveiling, in an unprecedented effort to recreate the display that Monet himself put together and the experience he wanted his audience to have seeing these extraordinary works.

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The Griffin Catalyst Exhibition: Monet and London. Views of the Thames
27 Sep 2024 – 19 Jan 2025
Denise Coates Exhibition Galleries

Tickets include entry to the permanent collection and displays. Friends go free.

The exhibition’s lead sponsor is Griffin Catalyst, the civic engagement initiative of Citadel Founder and CEO Kenneth C. Griffin. The exhibition is supported by the Huo Family Foundation, with additional support from the Dr. Lee MacCormick Edwards Charitable Foundation.

The houses of parliament in the fog, with an orange sun and purple sky reflecting on the river Thames
Claude Monet (1840 – 1926), London, Parliament. Sunlight in the fog, 1904, oil on canvas, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, Photo © Grand Palais RMN (musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

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