Although I was very familiar with Monet's paintings, especially those in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I knew very little about his life.
King focuses on Monet's later years as he struggled to realize his Grande Decoration during WWI while dealing with failing eyesight. The trials of the artistic life, how genius copes with human limitations, and the horrendous impact of WWI on France is vividly portrayed.
|Nympheas, Japanese Bridge, |
1918-1926, Claude Monet, Philadelphia Museum of Art
|Claude Monet Water Garden in Giverny, photo Ariane Cauderlier|
|L'Agapanthe, Monet 1920-22|
"Many people think I paint easily, but it is not an easy things to be an artist. I often suffer tortures when I paint. it is a great joy and a great suffering." Claude Monet
Cataracts and blindness plagued Monet and compromised his belief in himself. He knew what he wanted to achieve but felt his limitations.
Monet was a passionate man who would rave at life's limitations. He was his own worse critic, destroying canvases that he considered failures. He stalled handing over the paintings. As long as he had his great work he had a reason to live. The delay strained his friendship with Clemenceau.
At his death in 1926 the paintings were put on display in the Orangerie at Tuileries. Go on a virtual visit to here.
Monet the man and the artist was brought to life in King's book and I have a better appreciation of the impact of WWI on France.
I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
Publication Date: Sept 6, 2016
$30 hard cover