Painting the Modern Garden: podcast round-up

Published 31 May 2016

From a curator’s discussion of gardens in art to a debate on contemporary urban gardening, we present a round-up of podcasts on our exhibition.

  • Our current blockbuster Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse traces the emergence of the modern garden, through a period of great social change and innovation in the arts. With some of the most important paintings from Impressionism, Post-Impression and the Avant-Garde, the exhibition spotlights artists including Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro, Manet, Sargent, Kandinsky, Van Gogh and Matisse.

  • An introduction to 'Painting the Modern Garden'

    Exhibition curator Ann Dumas examines the different ways that artists ranging from Claude Monet to Henri Matisse painted the garden in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • Revolutionising the garden, revolutionising art

    Claude Monet’s artistic and horticultural achievement at Giverny was not unique. Other contemporary artists sought similar fusions between garden design and art. In this talk, MaryAnne Stevens touches upon artists’ gardens in Spain, Germany and Denmark, concluding with one in Norway which sought to provide artistic motifs as well as to fulfil economic, ecological and national ideals.

  • Colour and the garden

    Monet and his fellow artist-gardeners applied their artistic eye to the composition of their gardens, using nature’s palette of flowers and foliage to create horticultural works of art. Garden designers Dan Pearson, Tom Stuart-Smith and Sarah Price, and artist Stephen Chambers RA, consider how the artistic principles behind the use of colour and composition can be applied to planting and landscaping to transform garden design, creating harmony or contrast, and evoking different moods and a sense of space.

  • Contemporary urban gardening

    This panel event explored the current state and future potential of contemporary urban gardening. Chaired by journalist and horticulturist Alys Fowler, the subversive and exciting work of guerrilla gardener and author Richard Reynolds, forager John Rensten and artist Wendy Shillam are brought to the table.

  • "My most beautiful masterpiece": Monet and his garden

    Claude Monet lived at Giverny for 43 years, from 1883 to his death in 1926. A passionate horticulturalist, his garden became a work of art as well as a subject for his paintings. From the Iris garden to his huge waterlily canvases, the garden at Giverny was the focus for some of Monet’s greatest works of art.

    In this podcast, James Priest, head gardener at Giverny, is in conversation with garden designer and writer James Alexander-Sinclair, discusses Monet’s cultivation of and relationship with the garden that inspired some of his most famous paintings.

  • Easels in Eden: Monet’s gardening and painting at Giverny

    From the 1890s until his death in 1926, Monet created over 500 paintings of his private paradise at Giverny. In this podcast, Dr Eric Haskell places the Giverny period within the context of the painter’s phenomenal trajectory, then examines how Monet moved beyond representation to abstraction and thus prefigured the Modern aesthetic in the most subtle of terms.

  • The art of horticulture: planting and painting the ‘modern garden’

    Meet Monet protecting his peonies with straw, Caillebotte inspecting orchids in his hot-house, Liebermann planning his Wannsee rose-bower, and Matisse thumbing the latest seed catalogues, in this talk by Clare A.P. Willsdon.

    Willsdon explores the links between art and the practice of horticulture, bringing to light such developments as Monet’s contribution to the first International Iris Congress, the inspiration of particular flowers and plants, influences from literature, music and politics, and links between French, British, German and Austrian art and garden-making.


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  • Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse is in the Main Galleries until 20 April. Find out more about events at the RA.

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