From April 1 to November 1, 2021, the Museum of Impressionisms, in Giverny, France will present a unique exhibition about the gardens: ‘Côté jardin. From Monet to Bonnard’, curated by Cyrille Sciama, director of the Museum, and Mathias Chivot, art historian and independent curator. The exhibition will bring together a hundred paintings, drawings and prints, illustrating the representation of the garden between 1870 and 1890, from a new angle: the sensitivity to the garden. Because although many exhibitions have already dealt with the general subject of the garden and also the theme of the garden among the Impressionists, this will be the first time that a project will confront the contradictory and complementary visions that unite the Impressionists and the Nabis.
This exhibition will be more an evocation, a feeling than an argument on the construction of the garden or the horticultural debates at the end of the 19th century with a conclusion on the 20th century. From Renoir to Monet, from Vuillard to Bonnard, it is a story of sensitivities that will be presented, more than an illustration of Monet’s garden. The essential role of Pierre Bonnard, as well as of most of the Nabis who turned to post-impressionism after 1900, will be underlined in the new illustration of the garden, creating a transition on the aesthetic of the Nabis, where the play of shadows and theater asserts itself as a demarcation with the impressionists whom they admire, reject, but to whom they keep coming back. The route will be thematic and chronological, offering sections on space, silences, the greenhouse, daydreams, the lush garden, the walled garden and the return to Impressionism. The exhibition benefits from the exceptional support of the Musée d’Orsay, but also from a large number of public and private collections, mainly French.