The Principality of Monaco has had a long tradition, from the Renaissance, onwards, in encouraging and supporting artists.
Fine Arts in the Principality of Monaco
AN IMPORTANT EARLY RENAISSANCE PAINTER, LOUIS BRÉA, and his brother Antoine, were already engaged in important commissions in the Principality through 1500 to 1505. An important early Renaissance painter was engaged in important commissions in the Principality until 1500 and 1505. Louis Bréa’s altarpiece depicting St. Nicholas in Monaco Cathedral, painted around 1550, is the oldest painting by an Old Master in the Principality. This work of art shows the influence of contemporary schools from Avignon and Catalonia, with some traces of Flemish art. It is an interesting example of how styles were so international at the time, with painters absorbing ideas from Italian and Gothic art.
Crossing back and forth across the border to the Principality were Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet. They loved the perpetual sun and the possibilities it created for developing Impressionist art. Their raison d’être was always the possibility of composing canvases outdoors rather than creating them in a studio. Claude Monet, in particular, was aware of these advantages and returned to work in Monaco from January to March 1884.
It was a period that unleashed an explosion of energy and the artist became a veritable pictorial machine, creating such splendid paintings as, The sailing boat Aurore, Port of Monaco 1884, presently in Palazzo Ruspoli, Rome. Monet’s great production of 1884 on the Riviera creates a joy and a jolt of pleasure when we unexpectedly find these same paintings he completed in this region hanging various museums around the world.