New exhibition reveals the inspirational power of the back garden
The humble back garden has been treasured by homeowners since they were first introduced, offering a sense of peace and tranquility simply unavailable in increasingly crowded sprawling urban jungles that have become so central to our lives.
For many, a back garden is something to be enjoyed, but for some it has gone far beyond that, offering inspiration that simply cannot be ignored.
It is therefore perhaps no surprise that some of the most famous painters throughout history have used back back gardens as a creative platform for creating some of the world’s most iconic masterpieces.
Now, a new exhibition at the Royal Academy is paying tribute to the ordinary back garden, chronicling his influence over great artists, such as Monet and Matisse, which helped to change the history of art forever.
Monet to take centre stage
One of the most prominent works to be showcased is Monet’s world-famous Agapanthus Triptych of 1916 – 1919.
This iconic work is usually split into three parts, which have usually been split between three US institutions.
This will be the first on display together for the first time in the UK, meaning it is sure to create plenty of excitement among the punters and experts alike.
Monet was well-known for having a love for the garden, so it is no surprise to see him feature heavily in this exhibition, which is already selling out fast.
In fact, Monet will account for quarter of the works to be displayed, with Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, Pissarro, Sargent, Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Matisse, Klimt and Klee.
A homage to the garden’s place in art
The rise of the middle class garden is thought to have happened during the 19th century, and this latest exhibition aims to show how it helped provide a generation of the world’s most-loved artists a springboard.
Ann Dumas, curator at the Royal Academy, told the Daily Telegraph: “We’re looking always from this particular angle of gardens. Artists love gardens because of the colour, and it was the sort of environment they can control to some extent: it was a sort of outdoor studio.”
Describing the rise of the garden as representative of “an very important time”, Dumas added: “It’s really that time when you see the rise of modern bourgeois, middle class society as we still know it today more or less.
“So whereas before, gardening had been more of an aristocratic pursuit, or else just kind of functional gardens where people grew food, this kind of modern, modest scale, urban garden is suddenly becoming popular.
“And with it we see this enthusiasm for plants and catalogues and nurseries, which really started in the period covered by this exhibition.”