Monet: Nature Into Art

John House, Author Yale University Press $67 (256p) ISBN 978-0-300-03785-2
House's thorough study of Monet's working methods reveals that the impressionist nature-poet searched in a calculating way for suitable subjects to paint, even relying on travel guides for leads. Though Monet liked to present himself as a solitary hermit, he dominated the Paris art world and kept in touch with writers and artists. For patrons and buyers he would turn out an occasional still life to make a quick sale, and some of these, like Chrysanthemums (1897), were masterpieces. This handsomely illustrated monograph argues that Monet's preoccupation was capturing a scene's essential unifying atmosphere. In quest of this elusive goal, the artist would rework a canvas for months, whether outdoors or in his studio. House demonstrates that impressionism's apparent spontaneity belies its studious craftsmanship. (October 15)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1986
Release date: 09/01/1986
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