"Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River"

Considered the leading light of French Impressionist art, Claude Monet had a particular fondness for water, actually for a certain body of water. “I have painted the Seine throughout my entire life, at every hour, at every season,” he once said. “I have never tired of it. For me, the Seine is always new.” With the new exhibit “Monet and the Seine: Impressions of a River,” the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston presents 52 water-themed works by Monet. The paintings — which span decades — detail Monet’s fascination with the waterway and include many from his groundbreaking 1896-97 Mornings on the Seine series, which were exhibited to great acclaim.

“Monet was born on the Seine, grew up where the Seine meets the English Channel. It became ‘his’ river,” says exhibit co-curator Helga Aurisch of MFAH. “I think it held a particular fascination for him because he was so interested in the changes in nature, and nothing changes more quickly than the sky or the water.” And indeed, the stunning works show an amalgamation of sky, water, tree, plants and people life along the Seine. Many of these paintings were done from the same spot, which, depending on the weather or the time of day, could take on a whole different look.

“I hope this exhibition will show his astonishing development as an artist,” Aurisch sums up. “From the marine painter we see in the 1860s to one who pushes painting to its limits in his lyrical, abstract and magically beautiful compositions.”

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and -Saturdays; 12:15 to 7 p.m. Sundays. Through February 1. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713‑639‑7300 or visit mfah.org. $23.
Sundays, 12:15-7 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Starts: Oct. 26. Continues through Feb. 1, 2014

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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero