Claude Monet Port-Goulphar, Belle Īle 1887
This exhibition reveals the extraordinary relationship of Claude Monet, Australian Impressionist John Peter Russell and Henri Matisse as they undertook painting sojourns on the storm-tossed island of Belle-Ile in north-western France.
Russell, a Sydney-born art student, spent the summer of 1886 sailing and sketching on Belle-Īle. As autumn approached he chanced upon a new arrival painting on the windy cliff. Recognising his style, Russell asked the artist "aren't you Claude Monet, prince of the impressionists?" Flattered and amused, Monet allowed the young artist to paint with him -- thus began a decisive influence on his career.
Within two years Russell had changed his life. Leaving Paris, he built a large manor house on the island which welcomed a stream of visitors, including the great French sculptor August Rodin, and the young art student Henri Matisse, who came over the two summers of 1896 and 1897, a decade after Monet.
This exhibition includes more than forty paintings from private and public collections internationally.