The Fondation Beyeler in Basel celebrates its 20th anniversary with a monographic exhibition dedicated to the father of Impressionism: Claude Monet. Take the chance to visit the building designed by Renzo Piano and get lost in Monet’s masterpieces, ranging form the 1880 to the beginning of the 20th century.

Claude Monet, Les Glaçons Oder Débâcle Sur La Seine, 1880

Claude Monet, Les glaçons oder débâcle sur la Seine, 1880

62 of Monet’s masterpieces have been brought at the Fondation Beyeler from some of the most prominent museums of the world (the Musée d’Orsay of Paris, the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art of New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tate Modern of London, the Museum of Fine Art of Boston); also, the exhibit features 15 paintings from private collections and rarely seen.

Reflections and shadows overlaps in the dresses’ ruffles and on the surface of the river Sein, the same river that is the main protagonist of the exhibit’s first part. The paintings are windows open on calm and peaceful mornings, reflections and contemplations that get summed up in an ethereal work of art.

Claude Monet, Les paupliers au bord de l'Epte, 1891

Claude Monet, Les paupliers au bord de l’Epte, 1891

The next room is dedicated to the theme of trees. It’s a tribute to Ernst Beyeler, who in 1998 dedicated an entire exhibition to the subject.

The other rooms 

Claude Monet, Prairie à Giverny, effet d'automne, 1886

Claude Monet, Prairie à Giverny, effet d’automne, 1886

The coastlines of the Mediterranean sea are the thread of the paintings from the 1880’s, when Monet dedicated himself to the well-known series painting. His main goal was to pin down the same visual perception while almost forgetting about the subject.

The exhibit continues with the demonstration of Monet’s love for the city of London, even for its fog, that waters down the shapes in an uncertain and trembling landscape. Speaking about love, it’s impossible not to cite Monet’s waterlilies, here present and representing the artist’s most famous creations, inspired by the rays of light playing on the small pond in his garden in Giverny.

An unmatched sensitivity…

Claude Monet, La terrasse à Vétheuil, 1881

Claude Monet, La terrasse à Vétheuil, 1881

Pioneer of the en plein air painting technique, Monet captured on his canvas time as it elapses. With his reiteration on new views on the same subject, he always gave way to inedited impressions. Everything changes in a blink of an eye, and only an extremely alert eye can capture this swift evolution. That’s how the subject becomes a mere device for a meticulous task: catching the effects of light, the range of colours, until the painting becomes a vibrant conglomeration of emotions.

…and an unmatched mastery

Claude Monet, Pointes de Rochers à Port-Domois, 1886

Claude Monet, Pointes de Rochers à Port-Domois, 1886

Monet’s eyes, even if almost totally blinded by a disease, were able to catch this flow. His unmatched technique allowed him to impress on canvas the never ending change of the world. All with quick brush strokes, often with complementary colours.

The artist relinquished the use of chiaroscuro, but his use of shadow and light didn’t get affected by this choice. One of his most famous quotes says:  “I chase a dream, I want the impossible“.

And of course, he got it right.

Theodore Robinson: Portrait of Monet (1888-90)

Theodore Robinson: Portrait of Monet (1888-90)


Monet, January 22nd – May 28th 2017
Foundation Beyeler
Baselstrasse 101, CH-4125 Riehen/Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61645 9700
Fax: +41 61645 9719 Beyeler
Opening hours: every day 10am– 6pm, Wed. until 8pm
Free entrance under 25 years old 
Audio guide: adults Euro 8,00; Art Club Euro 7.
Special ticket – Fondation Beyeler 20th Anniversary: “Monet”, “Wolfgang Tillmans” and “Paul Klee” CHF 60

More info

Elena Del Carlo, M.A.
Head of Communications
Tel. + 41 (0)61 645 97 21,, Fondation Beyeler, Beyeler Museum AG, Baselstrasse 77, CH-4125 Riehen
Per l’Italia: Francesco Gattuso +39 335 678 69 74,