Beautiful landscape paintings by two of the most important artists of the last 150 years are being welcomed into the galleries at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts this summer.
A stunning early oil painting by Henri Matisse – Landscape in Corsica, 1898 – is on long-term loan from a private collection and has gone on display in The Barber Institute’s blue gallery (as of Tuesday 20 June).
The painting is one of around 60 landscapes painted by Matisse (1869 – 1954) during an extended study visit to the Mediterranean Island while on his honeymoon. It is unlike the brightly colourful Fauvist paintings and later paper ‘cut-outs’ for which Matisse is perhaps best known – but the beautiful Corsican landscape shimmering in the strong southern sunshine would have a profound effect on him and marks the start of his lifelong fascination with the expressive potential of colour.
Taking pride of place in the blue gallery from 22 June until 10 September, however, is Claude Monet’s spectacular Water Lily Pond of 1898, on loan to the Barber from the Art Institute of Chicago.
It features one of the most recognisable motifs of Impressionism – the Japanese bridge over the water lily pond in Monet’s garden at Giverny – and is one of 18 versions of this view painted in the summers of 1899 and 1900.
The painting has been lent to Birmingham in exchange for the Barber’s key Gauguin painting, Bathers at Tahiti, which is currently one of the star exhibits in the Art Institute of Chicago’s summer blockbuster, Gauguin: Artist as Alchemist.
For more information visit The Barber Institute.