Monet, the father of French impressionist painting, devoted twenty-five years to a series of paintings of the water lilies that floated in the pond of his lavish garden in Giverny. This volume is dedicated to those paintings, and opens with a biography of Monet that links the artist’s childhood passion for nature and for drawing to his later fascination with light. Monet’s experiments with how to best capture light and its effect on the sky and on water at different times of the day include paintings such as Impression, Sunrise (1872), which inspired the name of the impressionist movement. A critical text analyzes Monet’s ingenuity, audacity, and modernity, as well as his influence on other artists, from Zao Wou-ki to music to Shirley Goldfarb. This definitive catalog is completed by 210 color reproductions of the water lily paintings with annotated captions, period shots of Giverny by photographers such as Cartier-Bresson, and rare documents including Monet’s personal letters to his optometrist regarding his failing eyesight, which has been linked to his development of the impressionist style. The large-format volume features an eight-page gatefold of the murals at the Orangerie in Paris, and it serves as both an accessible introductory work and a complete reference guide to an important component in the history of art.
Jean-Dominique Rey, art historian and writer, has curated numerous exhibitions and published several books, essays, and memoirs. Denis Rouart was an art historian and former curator of the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Nancy. He has contributed to numerous catalogs on impressionist painters.