Monet in Bordighera with and without Renoir
In 1883 Claude Monet went to live in Giverny, where he created the famous garden full of flowers and plants, including the famous water lilies.
For Monet it is a "restless" period because he is looking for new stimuli, new subjects and wishes to close the period of Impressionist exhibitions at the Salon, where his works remain totally linked to the circuit of criticism and collecting.
To find "new air" Monet thinks of taking a trip, with his longtime friend August Renoir to Italy, to the coasts of Liguria.
Monet is struck by the light and the beauty of the places, but the two friends realize their style and interest in certain subjects are different.
So they return to France, but a month later Monet returns to Liguria to paint.
The Italian brightness and colors put Monet to the test and he himself writes: “… I still can't get the tone of this country; sometimes I'm scared of the colors I have to use… ".
Claude does not lose heart and begins to work tirelessly, as is his habit, and even faces six canvases at a time. He is enraptured by the colors, from the sun, from the colors of the sea so different from those he was used to.
Little by little he manages to find pictorial solutions that satisfy him and says "Now I feel the country well, I dare to put earth tones and pinks and blues".
Monet uses colors he never used: the blue tending to purple for the sky and the atmosphere, pink or apricot for the flowers, the emerald green for the sea water, in the spasmodic attempt to be able to render the beauty of what his eyes saw.
Indeed, he decides to use Italian paint tubes: “Now I paint with Italian colors that I had to bring from Turin”.
Bordighera will bring good luck to Claude Monet, because on his return he will begin to have that well-deserved success and recognition so long sought.
"Everything is iridescent and flamboyant color, it is admirable and every day the countryside is more beautiful, and I am enchanted by the country."
For Claude Monet it is difficult to find the words to express the beauty and magic he finds in Bordighera and in the Ligurian villages.
We Italians, on the other hand, who have this beauty at home, seem like "volunteer Czechs", intensely committed to not seeing and often destroying so much splendor.
Andrea Giuseppe Fadini