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Claude Monet Bordighera
Bordighera, painted by Claude Monet in 1884, is an epiphanic celebration of the artist's discovery of the Mediterranean region during his stay in Italy during the same year. Indeed, Monet was always on the look out for areas which boasted subtle and elegant contrasts of life and vivid colours, which is one of the reasons why Monet's numerous discoveries remain to this day popular tourist havens. Bordighera, unlike many of Monet's works which are famous for having been painting outdoors, was completed at the artist's studio at Giverny, after an initial exercise of another painted onsite. The canvas reflects the ephemeral Mediterranean light and the fascination that the painter held for the nature, flora, and faunae of the region. The scene is that of the garden of a Mr. Moreno, which the artist declared a paradise. As such Bordighera is representative of various recurring compositional features that occurred when the artist was at his most enthused.
Bordighera offers the viewer a variation on one of Monet's favourite themes: the garden. His journeys around Italy coincided with a more extensive period of travel dating from the early 1880s following the death of his first wife. Settling down with the wife of one of his most prestigious patrons, Monet made a new family home in the Paris rural suburb of Giverny. He set off to the small town of Bordighera, set opportunely on the Italian Riviera, aiming to stay for a few short weeks. Instead the trip lasted over three months. In letters to fellow artists and correspondents Monet marvelled at the incandescent Mediterranean sun, the varied and luscious landscape, and the weaving brilliance of the sun. Although only a short distance from the border with France, the difference in life studies for Monet was immense. He had first stumbled across the town with his old friend and co-founder of the Impressionism, Pierre-August Renoir.
Following the personal tragedy of the early part of the decade and the immense critical acclaim that his quiet revolution was garnering, Monet's works became more and more resonant as his career progressed. Achieving a sense of normality at his garden in Giverny, Monet's journeys around continental Europe allow a startling vision of a creative mind constantly on the lookout for new forms and foliage. Bordighera is a lasting testament to an inquisitive and unique talent.
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