Monet is one of the greatest Impressionists as well as being the most popular, yet books about him have concentrated either on aesthetic or on social aspects of his work without attempting a synthesis. Here Virginia Spate provides a full interpretation of Monet's paintings, examining the various ways in which they can be read; the tension between image and reality that energizes them; and the mysterious interactions between the work, its exhibition, promotion, and sale, and its reception both in public and in private.
Based on a study of the artist's complete oeuvre, his surviving letters, and contemporary documentary material, this is the fullest account available of a complex and influential man whose style changed and evolved considerably during his long career. Monet's often neglected figure paintings, always of family or friends, are analyzed alongside his landscapes, which ranged from river scenes to steam-filled railway stations. Changes in his output in response to shifts in demand are linked to the new system of art dealers and to his financial situation. The France of Monet's youth and maturity is covered in depth, especially the traumatic legacy of the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune; and his famous garden at Giverny is shown to be both a personal utopia and a vital part of his creative processes.
This definitive treatment of a hugely important artist makes an indispensable contribution to the art history of Impressionism and the roots of modernism.
"Acclaim for Claude Monet: The Colour of Time 'Claude Monet: The Colour of Time astonishes the reader with the extents of its probing enquiry into the work of Claude Monet and the times in which he lived, and renders all others superfluous and trivial... a very good book' - Brian Sewell 'Art book of the year' - The Independent on Sunday 'Dazzling... I cannot imagine how we have done without it' - Marina Vaizey, The Financial Times 'An extraordinary book... a new, original and complete study of the work and times of Claude Monet... No other is as rich, as intelligent, as substantial... a major contribution, I believe, to cultural history as well as art history... it will replace all other studies' - Linda Nochlin"