9780300072860 / 0300072864

Claude Monet: Life and Art


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Publisher:Yale University Press, 1998



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About the book:

The impressionist Claude Monet, created more than 2500 paintings, drawings and pastels - radically altering the way art was made and understood. This book is a comprehensive study of Monet's achievement that sets his rich legacy into the context of his life and times. Instead of reading Monet's work as engaged only with the beauties of nature, the author offers interpretations based on an examination of individual paintings, Monet's biography and the multiple forces that shaped his aesthetic. The artist's oeuvre is seen as an evolving enterprise that was intricately linked to such events as the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune insurrection of 1870-71, the Dreyfus Affair of 1898 and World War I. This book also explores the demands that Monet placed upon himself, his responses to market pressures and his steadfast belief in the power of art to express ideas. Combining documentary material with an analysis of the public's reaction to his work, the book demonstrates how Monet was able to achieve enormous success during his lifetime. It argues that Monet was fully aware of his talents, that he consciously chose sites and subjects that were layered with meaning and that he was intent on becoming one of France's greatest artists - an honour he was accorded by the end of the 19th century - much earlier than is generally assumed.

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