The recent rise in Monet values parallels a public demand for shows about the artist and his work, The Australian notes, as the Royal Academy announces a new show of the Impressionist’s work:
Art historians suggest the academy is in thrall to the artist’s power to pull in audiences and there is a danger of “Monet fatigue”. Richard Shone, editor of The Burlington Magazine, says there is a hint of desperation about the show.
“I think there is some fatigue with Monet,” he says. “It’s a name that exhibition organisers almost automatically put on to a title even if the artist is hardly represented. It’s the same with Caravaggio. It just draws people in.
“It does seem a little late in the day for the Royal Academy to be doing this. It’s coming at the end of many Monet shows. I think they’re a bit desperate for their historical shows. Getting these works costs a fortune, but it does put money in the coffers of the RA, which has no government grant. But it’s going a little far.”
Ann Dumas, curator of the show, which will open in January, says the British public has an insatiable appetite for Monet, but admits that the artist is in danger of overexposure.
“It’s very much why we didn’t name this as a Monet exhibition,” she says. “There have been thousands of Monet exhibitions and several here. But this is not just Monet, and it really does bring out Monet the gardener.”
Philip Hook, a senior international specialist in impressionist art for Sotheby’s, says there is an interesting parallel with the art market. “In Sotheby’s and Christie’s sales over the past two or three years, Monet prices are on the up even more dramatically than other artists. The market seems to be able to absorb Monets in large numbers.”
Critics are fatigued, but public keeps saying ‘show me the Monet’ (The Australian)