Monitor: The Royal Academy's Monet exhibition - as seen by the newspapers

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The Independent Culture
THE ROYAL Academy could become the country's first 24-hour art gallery to cope with the huge numbers expected to seek entrance to its new Monet exhibition. Demand for advance tickets to Monet in the 20th Century is set to break records. The Academy is selling up to 500 tickets every hour - 5,000 tickets were sold last Friday alone, possibly the highest ever sale in a single day for a visual arts event. Each will pay pounds 9 a ticket, the highest admission price ever charged. Visitors, once inside, will be allowed to stay as long as they like. If demand is high, opening hours will be extended, initially perhaps to midnight, but around the clock if necessary.

- Evening Standard

ROTHKO'S RETROSPECTIVE opened in Paris last week; he wanted people to cry in front of his pictures. I never did. Titian's Death of Marsayus made me want to shit myself and run away when I first saw it and I happily admit that the Museum of Modern Art's late Monet water lily painting did, in fact, make me burst in [to] tears on my first trip to New York. That last painting is here, in the final room of the show, warmer now out of the shrill and steely East Coast light. "The most beautiful room in London", the final gallery has already been called, containing five of the enormous late paintings of Monet's lily pond. They surround you and confound you. They make you feel weightless, hovering, with a dragonfly's vision.

- Guardian

THE LATER galleries contain many pictures of dubious aesthetic merit, and a big question mark hangs over the RA's decision to show sketches alongside finished works of art. Only the word "hideous" serves to describe the series of Japanese Bridges from 1919-24, unless it be "uncontrolled", "illegible", "embarrassing", "sad". But the last years are by no means without successful pictures. In the final room of the show [with] the mural-sized studies of water lilies which are now in the Orangerie in Paris, we enter the realms of aesthetic bliss that Monet at his best could deliver. After seeing them, you'll leave the exhibition high as a kite.

- Daily Telegraph

MOST EXTRAORDINARY of all is a wallful of deep-hued, wildly handled canvases where the water lilies are brushed in with swift, impatient audacity. Their forms are continually invaded by brusque reflections of weeping willows. Monet renders these intrusions as clusters of stabbing, impetuous strokes. These emancipated streamers of pigment, unfurling their energy on the picture-surface like hurled ticker-tape, anticipate the exuberant freedom of American Abstract Expressionist painting. But their shocking rawness reveals a side of Monet's complex temperament that he had never exposed before. The butchery of the battles waged so near to Giverny may have affected Monet's mood, making him realise how vulnerable his lovingly cultivated Eden had now become in a country so despoilt by fighting.

- Times

DESPITE HIS many lovable and unlovable traits many found Monet elusive and remote. Beside his deathbed was found a volume of Baudelaire, open at the poem, "Tell me, enigmatical man, whom do you love best, your father, your mother, your sister or your brother? ... I love the clouds ... the clouds that pass ... up there ... up there ... the wonderful clouds." On February 3, 1901, the 60-year-old Impressionist was up at six to paint the river view outside his window. Then, he wrote to his wife, "the sun rose with a blinding light ... the Thames was nothing but gold. God, how beautiful it was; I began to work in a frenzy."

- Sunday Telegraph

MONET-SPINNER

- Mirror

HOW DO you fancy the Monet t-shirt, notelets and mouse mat? Or perhaps the iridescent scarf is more to your taste; or a watch decorated with water lilies? The most fascinating spin-off is the Monet Seed Kit. Not the artist's cryogenically frozen spermatozoa, but two pots, seeds, growing medium and gardening guide with which to recreate a corner of Monet's garden.

- Scotland on Sunday

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