Monet and Renoir in the South of France with Pamela Morton - Context Travel

Monet and Renoir in the South of France with Pamela Morton


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Although best known for their atmospheric paintings of nineteenth-century Paris and its environs, Monet and Renoir, the leaders of Impressionism, also spent significant time in the South of France. Both artists were intrigued by the unfamiliar climate, light, and landscape. In a letter to his dealer, Monet wrote, ‘When surrounded with such dazzling light, one find’s one’s palette rather poor. Here art would need tones of gold and diamonds.’ This seminar looks at the ways in which the artists’ encounter with the Mediterranean changed their work from brighter tones and more clearly defined forms to the classically-inspired subject matter.

Monet and Renoir developed the Impressionist style while working together along the banks of the Seine in 1869. The canvases they produced over the next decade, primarily outdoor scenes of relaxation and recreation in and around Paris, are among their best known and most popular works. Yet, as travel became easier and more accessible with the expansion of the railroads, the two artists began to venture further afield in search of other, less familiar landscapes for inspiration. Both undertook extensive painting campaigns along the shores of the Mediterranean. After his first trip south in 1882, an enthusiastic Renoir invited his friend and colleague to join him on a second expedition in 1883. Intrigued by the dazzling light and bold landscapes of the Riviera, Monet returned south in 1884 and again in 1888 producing some 87 paintings of palm trees, the Alps, and 'water, beautiful blue water.' Renoir likewise continued to sojourn along the coast and eventually built a home and studio in Cagnes where he spent the last twelve years of his life, painting sensual, classical-style nudes set against intensely colored Mediterranean backdrops.

This seminar looks at the southern work of these two Impressionist masters. It explores how their work changed in response to a climate, geography, and vegetation distinctly different from that of northern France, and considers the extent to which these differences can be read as reflections of certain attitudes and common perceptions of the South as an exotic, unspoiled, rural paradise.

Led by Pamela Morton, an expert on the artists of the South of France, this interactive seminar is designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels. Participants will come away with a new appreciation of the work of these two major artists in its connection with the light and landscapes of Provence and the Riviera.

Originally from the US, Pamela has lived in France (Aix-en-Provence and Marseille) for 25 years. Pamela teaches studio art and art history for American university programs in Aix. She trained in art restoration in Italy and has a background in museum work as a curatorial assistant and program director. She is also an artist working in mixed media -- drawing and painting. She attended Bennington College and California College of the Arts. She's worked as the on-site director for a study abroad program and for educational programs including the Smithsonian, Alumni International, and Cultural Experiences Abroad. She's taught for Northwestern University, Oberlin College, and the Marchutz School of Art (Aix). As an art historian, Pamela is endlessly fascinated by the local culture, the archaeology, history, and architecture of the region as well as its monuments and museums. As a painter, she is intrigued by the light and colors of this southern realm, the Midi, where so many artists lived and worked. Her two favorite artists from Provence are Cézanne and van Gogh.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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(4)
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F
F.
One of the best lectures ever! Context and lots of college lectures to compare,!

Such enthusiasm and her comparisons and parallels of the two great artists worked well. I have now signed up her next class of Cezanne and VanGogh.

J
J.S.
Monet and Renoir

Wow! Pamela did an amazing job discussing this topic. I am a lifelong fan of the Impressionists but. I learned so much from her. Awesome !

T
T.M.

Guest did not leave comment

A
A.T.

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
100%
(4)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
F
F.
One of the best lectures ever! Context and lots of college lectures to compare,!

Such enthusiasm and her comparisons and parallels of the two great artists worked well. I have now signed up her next class of Cezanne and VanGogh.

J
J.S.
Monet and Renoir

Wow! Pamela did an amazing job discussing this topic. I am a lifelong fan of the Impressionists but. I learned so much from her. Awesome !

T
T.M.

Guest did not leave comment

A
A.T.

Guest did not leave comment