The world of Claude Monet – his break with the stultifying conventions of academic art, his revolutionary ideas about light and color, his reverence for nature, his acute perceptions of the modern world – is best expressed in the hundreds of paintings he produced over a long career. From the youthful years in Le Havre and Paris to the final years at his beloved Giverny – from the joyous discoveries of early Impressionism, through poverty and the bitter struggle for recognition, to fame and honour in old age – there are always the luminous paintings.
This is abundantly clear in the present volume. In 132 pages of colour plates and 119 black-and-white illustrations, the paintings proclaim the full force of the Impressionist master's achievement.
But Monet has also been revealed (and reviled) in words – millions of them – written by critics, poets, philosophers, scholars, and even statesmen. The shrill ridicule that greeted his breakthrough into a new kind of painting was gradually replaced by appreciation, adoration, and, in our own time, scholarly appraisal. Now, for the first time, this mass of material has been assembled into a single book, masterfully selected and annotated by Charles F. Stuckey, Curator of Nineteenth-Century European Painting at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C.
Monet: A Retrospective is based on years of intensive research, selection, and translation in Europe and the United States. Beginning with a brief notice about the young artist's entries in the Salon of 1865, the text traces Monet's career as seen through contemporary eyes in reviews, articles, and interviews with the master himself. Encountered among the way are writings by such famous authors as Proust, Zola, Maupassant, Mallarme, and Clemenceau. Modern interpretations by art historian William Seitz and critic Clement Greenberg conclude the selection.
This unique combination of chronological texts and superb reproductions offers not only a valuable sourcebook for syudents and lovers of Impressionist art but also a visual and verbal documentation of a great artist and his influence upon the world.
Front cover is coming away from book; otherwise in very good condition