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For Claude Monet the designation ‘impressionist’ always remained a source of pride. In spite of all the things critics have written about his work, Monet continued to be a true impressionist to the end of his very long life. He was so by deep conviction, and for his Impressionism he may have sacrificed many other opportunities that his enormous talent held out to him. Monet did not paint classical compositions with figures, and he did not become a portraitist, although his professional training included those skills. He chose a single genre for himself, landscape painting, and in that he achieved a degree of perfection none of his contemporaries managed to attain. Yet the little boy began by drawing caricatures. Boudin advised Monet to stop doing caricatures and to take up landscapes instead. The sea, the sky, animals, people, and trees are beautiful in the exact state in which nature created them – surrounded by air and light. Indeed, it was Boudin who passed on to Monet his conviction of the importance of working in the open air, which Monet would in turn transmit to his impressionist friends. Monet did not want to enrol at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He chose to attend a private school, L’Académie Suisse, established by an ex-model on the Quai d’Orfèvres near the Pont Saint-Michel. One could draw and paint from a live model there for a modest fee. This was where Monet met the future impressionist Camille Pissarro. Later in Gleyre’s studio, Monet met Auguste Renoir Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille. Monet considered it very important that Boudin be introduced to his new friends. He also told his friends of another painter he had found in Normandy. This was the remarkable Dutchman Jongkind. His landscapes were saturated with colour, and their sincerity, at times even their naïveté, was combined with subtle observation of the Normandy shore’s variable nature. At this time Monet’s landscapes were not yet characterized by great richness of colour. Rather, they recalled the tonalities of paintings by the Barbizon artists, and Boudin’s seascapes. He composed a range of colour based on yellow-brown or blue-grey. At the Third Impressionist Exhibition in 1877 Monet presented a series of paintings for the first time: seven views of the Saint-Lazare train station. He selected them from among twelve he had painted at the station. This motif in Monet’s work is in line not only with Manet’s Chemin de fer (The Railway) and with his own landscapes featuring trains and stations at Argenteuil, but also with a trend that surfaced after the railways first began to appear. In 1883, Monet had bought a house in the village of Giverny, near the little town of Vernon. At Giverny, series painting became one of his chief working procedures. Meadows became his permanent workplace. When a journalist, who had come from Vétheuil to interview Monet, asked him where his studio was, the painter answered, “My studio! I’ve never had a studio, and I can’t see why one would lock oneself up in a room. To draw, yes – to paint, no”. Then, broadly gesturing towards the Seine, the hills, and the silhouette of the little town, he declared, “There’s my real studio.”Monet began to go to London in the last decade of the nineteenth century. He began all his London paintings working directly from nature, but completed many of them afterwards, at Giverny. The series formed an indivisible whole, and the painter had to work on all his canvases at one time. A friend of Monet’s, the writer Octave Mirbeau, wrote that he had accomplished a miracle. With the help of colours he had succeeded in recreating on the canvas something almost impossible to capture: he was reproducing sunlight, enriching it with an infinite number of reflections. Alone among the impressionists, Claude Monet took an almost scientific study of the possibilities of colour to its limits; it is unlikely that one could have gone any further in that direction.



Publié par
Date de parution 04 juillet 2023
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781781605905
Langue English

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Author: Nathalia Brodskaya

Text: Nina Kalitina
Layout: Baseline Co Ltd
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© Confidential Concepts, worldwide, USA
© Parkstone Press International, New York, USA

All rights reserved
No part of this publication may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world. Unless otherwise specified, copyright on the works reproduced lies with the respective photographers. Despite intensive research, it has not always been possible to establish copyright ownership. Where this is the case, we would appreciate notification.

ISBN: 978-1-78160-590-5
Nathalia Brodskaya


1. Towing a Boat. Honfleur , 1864.
2. Le Pavé de Chailly in the Forest of Fontainebleau , 1865.
3. The Mouth of the Seine at Honfleur , 1865.
4. Woman in a Green Dress (Camille) , 1866.
5. Ladies in the Garden , 1866.
6. Luncheon on the Grass , 1866.
7. Garden in Blossom , 1866.
8. Boats in the Harbour of Honfleur , 1866.
9. Lady in the Garden (Sainte-Adresse) , 1867.
10. The Luncheon , 1868.
11. Portrait of Madame Gaudibert , 1868.
12. On the Bank of the Seine, Bennecourt , 1868.
13. The Café “La Grenouillère” , 1869.
14. Bougival Bridge , 1870.
15. Entrance to the Port of Trouville , 1870.
16. The Thames and the Houses of Parliament , 1871.
17. Camille Monet at the Window , 1873.
18. The Poppy Field in Argenteuil , 1873.
19. Impression. Sunrise , 1873.
20. Boulevard des Capucines , 1873.
21. The Beach at Sainte-Adresse , 1867.
22. Road Bridge at Argenteuil , 1874.
23. The Studio Boat , 1874.
24. Turkeys , 1876.
25. La Japonaise (Camille Monet in Japanese Costume) (detail) , 1876.
26. The Walk. Woman with a Parasol, 1875.
27. Saint-Lazare Station , 1877.
28. Tracks Coming Out of Saint-Lazare Station , 1877.
29. Saint-Lazare Station, Outside , 1877.
30. Rue Saint-Denis, 30th of June 1878 Celebration , 1878.
31. Camille on her Deathbed , 1879.
32. Bouquet of Sunflowers , 1881.
33. Monet’s Garden in Vétheuil , 1881.
34. Etretat, Sunset , 1883.
35. Bordighera , 1884.
36. The Rocks at Belle-Ile , 1886.
37. Cliffs at Etretat , 1886.
38. Study of a Figure Outdoors (facing right) , 1886.
39. Study of a Figure Outdoors (facing left) , 1886.
40. Under the Poplars, Effect of Sunlight , 1887.
41. Landscape with Figures, Giverny, “Figures in the Sun” , 1888.
42. Haystacks in Giverny, Sunset , 1888-1889.
43. Poppy Field , 1890.
44. The Poplars, Effect of White and Yellow , 1891.
45. The Poplars, Three Purple Trees, Autumn , 1891.
46. Haystacks, End of an Autumn Day , 1891.
47. Rouen Cathedral in the Evening , 1892.
48. Rouen Cathedral, Symphony in Grey and Purple, 1892.
49. Rouen Cathedral , 1892.
50. Time The Portal, Fog in the Morning , 1893.
51. Branch of the Seine near Giverny at Daybreak , 1897.
52. Morning on the Seine, Clear Weather , 1897.
53. Branch of the Seine near Giverny , Fog, 1897.
54. Pond with Water-Lilies , 1897-1899.
55. Waterloo Bridge. Effect of Mist , 1903.
56. The Houses of Parliament, Sunset , 1900-1901.
57. Water-Lilies, Landscape of Water, the Clouds , 1903.
58. Purple Water-Lilies , 1897-1899.
59. Water-Lilies , 1903.
60. Water-Lilies , 1908.
61. Water-Lilies , 1908.
62. Water-Lilies , 1914-1917.
63. Water-Lilies , 1915.
64. The Grand Canal , 1908.
65. Palazzio Ducal , 1908.
66. Palazzio Dario , 1908.
1. Towing a Boat . Honfleur , 1864.
Oil on canvas, 55.5 x 82 cm.
Memorial Art Gallery of the
University of Rochester, Rochester, NY.
Numerous portraits of Monet have survived — self-portraits, the works of his friends (Manet and Renoir among others), photographs by Carjat and Nadar — all of them reproducing his features at various stages in his life. Many literary descriptions of Monet ’ s physical appearance have come down to us as well, particularly after he had become well-known and much in demand by art critics and journalists.
In 1919, when Monet was living almost as a recluse at Giverny, not far from Vernon-sur-Seine, he had a visit from Fernand L é ger, who saw him as “ a shortish gentleman in a panama hat and elegant light-grey suit of English cut … He had a large white beard, a pink face and little eyes that were bright and cheerful but with perhaps a slight hint of mistrust …” [1] Both the visual and the literary portraits of Monet depict him as an unstable, restless figure. Monet ’ s abrupt changes of mood, his constant dissatisfaction with himself, his spontaneous decisions, stormy emotions and cold meticulousness, his consciousness of himself as a personality moulded by the preoccupations of his age, set against his extreme individualism — taken together these features elucidate much in Monet ’ s creative processes and attitudes towards his own work. Claude-Oscar Monet was born in Paris on November 14th, 1840, but all his impressions as a child and adolescent were linked with Le Havre, the town where his family moved in about 1845. The surroundings in which the boy grew up were not conducive to artistic studies: Monet ’ s father ran a grocery business and turned a deaf ear to his son ’ s desire to become an artist. Le Havre boasted no museum collections of significance, no exhibitions, no school of art. The gifted boy had to content himself with the advice of his aunt, who painted merely for personal pleasure, and the directions of his school-teacher. The most powerful impression on the young Monet in Normandy was made by his acquaintance with the artist Eug è ne Boudin. It was Boudin who discouraged Monet from spending his time on the caricatures that brought him his initial success as an artist, and urged him to turn to landscape painting. Boudin recommended that Monet observe the sea and the sky and study people, animals, buildings and trees in the light, in the air. He said: “ Everything that is painted directly on the spot has a strength, a power, a sureness of touch that one doesn ’ t find again in the studio ” [2] . These words could serve as an epigraph to Monet ’ s work. Monet ’ s further development took place in Paris, and then again in Normandy, but this time in the company of artists.

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