Claude Monet, one of the most renowned Impressionist painters, traveled to Bordighera for a three-week working visit in 1884. However, he was so enchanted by the town’s lights, colors and vegetation that he ended up staying nearly three months. During his stay, Monet painted a series of three views of Bordighera, including “Palm Trees at Bordighera,” which is now part of the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection. His paintings depicted the verdant foliage and lushness in a riot of color as he translated nature onto canvas.
Monet focused on aspects of nature rather than human influence during his stay in Bordighera. His rediscovery of the Mediterranean during this period is evident in his paintings where there is an emphasis on light and color over form. Monet explored Bordighera alone during his stay, which allowed him to immerse himself in its landscape fully. He wrote to a friend that “everything is superb and I want to paint it all… there are many experiments to make.”
Monet’s time spent in Italy was a significant turning point concerning his artistic style as it marked a transition towards bolder brushstrokes and vivid colors that ultimately became characteristic qualities seen in his later works. Furthermore, Monet’s artwork inspired other artists who followed him to travel southward from Paris regularly for inspiration regarding their masterpieces.