183 Pages

Claude Monet: Vol 2


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With Impression, Sunrise, exhibited in 1874, Claude Monet (18401926) took part in thecreation of the Impressionist movement that introduced the 19th century to modern art. All his life, he captured natural movements around him and translated them into visual sensations. A complex man and an exceptional artist, Monet is internationally famous for his poetic paintings of waterlilies and beautiful landscapes. He leaves behind the most wellknown masterpieces that still fascinate art lovers all over the world.
In this twovolume illustrated work, Natalia Brodskaya and Nina Kalitina invite us on a journey across time to discover the history of Impressionism and Monet; a movement and an artist forever bound together. Specialists of 19th and 20th century art, the authors shed light on the birth of modernity in art, a true revolution responsible for the thriving art scene of the 20th century.
The second volume covers Monet’s age of maturity, the pinnacle and the crises of his extremely long and productive career. Nathalia Brodskaia, will introduce his method of painting the same scene many times to capture the changing of light and the passing of the seasons. The reader will share the author’s emotion about Monet’s lily ponds and his famous water lilies. "Old man Monet," as Willem de Kooning called him, had become the wise mentor, passing on his insights to generations of artists. He was the initiator, leader, and unswerving advocate of the Impressionist style, of which the author explains every aspect in detail.



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ISBN: 978-1-78525-698-1Nathalia Brodskaïa and Nina Kalitina

Claude Monet
Volume 2

Photograph of Claude and Alice Monet in
Piazza San Marco, feeding the pigeons.
After a postcard from 1908.
Formerly Jean-Pierre Hoschedé Collection.C o n t e n t s

His Life – The Pinnacle and the Crises
His Life – His Series
Works in Focus
The Time after Impressionism
Post-Impressionism and Its Contributions
The Post-Impressionist Period: Background and Ambience
Artists Influenced by Monet
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)
Vincent van Gogh
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
The Nabis
Monet’s Role in Art History
List of IllustrationsThe Boat, 1887. Oil on canvas, 146 x 133 cm.
Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.

His Life – The Pinnacle
and the Crises

Like many artists of his day and earlier times, Monet repeatedly sojourned and worked on the coast of
Normandy, where Delacroix and Courbet had once painted many marine scenes. Between 1883 and
1886 Monet often visited Étretat and produced many of his seascapes. Their recurrent motif is a cliff
jutting out far into the sea, as in Cliffs at Étretat (1886, Pushkin Museum, Moscow), which was
done from the d’Amont rock near the Payen house.
The coastal town Étretat inspired several of Monet’s seascapes and landscapes. Monet was not the
only painter at the time to travel to the north of France in search of inspiration for his works. Both
Delacroix and Courbet had already painted in Étretat, and Monet owned a watercolour by Delacroix.
Among them, Courbet, Pissaro, Manet, and Renoir also travelled to the Normandy coast. Monet
frequently met with the writer and fellow Étretat resident Maupassant, who set most of his short
stories in his hometown. The close relationship between art and literature and the two-sided influence
thbetween the disciplines during the 19 century is clear.
In his later works, created on the north-western French coast, Monet captured spectacular views of
the sea and the beach life in all of its rawness.
Among the steep cliffs on the various coastal areas, he directed his attention on three natural
arches, Porte d’Aval, Manneporte, and Porte d’Amont, and the seven-metre needle.
Because of the great interest, numerous artists on the Normandy coast consider the Manneporte as
one of the most-often-portrayed rock formations.
Monet alone painted six images of the Manneporte, which can be seen as an important step
towards his series. Of which The Manneporte near Étretat (vol. 1, p. 237) and The Manneporte
(Étretat) (vol. 1, p. 238) are integral.
His hometown Le Havre, a place he held deeply in his heart, would again be close to him in 1868
when he settled nearby in Étretat with his future wife Camille Concieux and their son Jean, doing so
again in 1883, 1885, and 1886.
The power of the blue-green, partially violet water that broke into waves along the coast is seen in
his paintings. He captured the raw weather, with its sudden changes from sunny to cloudy, and
portrayed the lives of the local fishermen and their simple boats, moored on the pebble beach, as in
Three Fishing Boats (vol. 1, p. 199) Monet often took many canvasses to the beach, and during the
course of the day, alternated between previously started paintings, with the purpose of capturing the
original lighting. At the end, Monet edited his paintings in his workshop. Altogether, Monet
completed over fifty works in Étretat.Olive Trees in the Moreno Garden, 1884.
Oil on canvas, 65.4 x 81.2 cm. Private collection.Antibes Seen from La Salis, 1888.
Oil on canvas, 73.3 x 92 cm.
Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo (Ohio).

In December 1883 he set out with Renoir for the Riviera. In 1884, after Bordighera and Menton,
he returned to Étretat, where he also spent several months during the following summer.
The year 1886 was memorable for trips to Holland and Brittany; from January to April 1888 he
lived on the Mediterranean coast at Antibes, before moving on to London and thence back to Étretat.
These journeys were undoubtedly efforts to find new sources for his work, new and inspiring motifs.
Nevertheless, in all his wanderings, Monet remained resolutely faithful to the central principle of
his art, trying to penetrate deep into Nature, to apprehend her secrets and convey them through vivid
and direct perception.
After his arrival in Bordighera and exposure to the exotic nature of the south, he wrote to his
second wife Alice: “My work is progressing, but I am experiencing difficulty; these palm-trees are a
torment to me, and apart from that it is very hard to pick a motif and get it down on the canvas – there
are such thickets all around.”
Monet’s fascination with the Mediterranean landscape reached its peak during the 1880s. During
this time, he continually relocated from place to place, in search of new sources of inspiration.
After working in the French Riviera, Monet made a second trip to the south of France in 1884, in
order to dedicate himself to the beauty of the Italian Riviera, where he completed The Castle at
Dolceacqua (1884, Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris).
It portrays the small town of Dolceacqua in Liguria on the Italian Riviera with the ruins of the
thDoria Castle and a 14 -century bridge running across the riverbed of the Nervia.
Dolceacqua was the seat of power of the Doria family and home to Admiral Andrea Doria. The
th thDoria family maintained dominion of the Republic of Genoa up until the 16 or 17 century.
The Dolceacqua Bridge (vol. 1, p. 222) and The Castle at Dolceacqua, done in a matter of hours,
belong to a notable series of paintings in which Monet focused on this gem in the Italian province. In
both of the paintings, Monet painted the arched bridge in the middle of the painting, flanked by the
two riverbeds of the Nervia.Cap d’Antibes, Mistral, 1888.
Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.Antibes Seen from the Plateau Notre-Dame, 1888.
Oil on canvas, 65.7 x 81.3 cm. Juliana Cheney
Edwards Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.The Alps Seen from Cap d’Antibes, 1888.
Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm. Private collection.Antibes, Afternoon Effect, 1888. Oil on canvas, 66 x 82.5 cm.
Gift of Samuel Dacre Bush, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

On the right side of The Castle at Dolceacqua, the castle towers above the small city. The painting
captures only the castle, as if Monet had painted it from a high angle. For The Dolceacqua Bridge,
the perspective is so low that Monet could have been standing directly in the riverbed.
On the far-right margin of the painting, the exterior wall of a house is recognisable, and on the
opposite end of the bridge, a tower protrudes over the building. The paintings differ not only in the
motifs and perspective, but also slightly in colouring: darkly-nuanced colours in the former, while
light brown and green tones are predominant in the latter.
The painting Dolceacqua (vol. 1, p. 221) portrays the old castle once again. Destroyed by the
thFrench and Spanish during the 18 century, the castle contributes to the charm of the small town and
the medieval bridge.
The painter once described the small town near Ventimiglia as the ‘Jewel of Lightness’. He was
enthralled with the raw beauty of the Italian hinterland, the luminous power of the sun, and the wild
The fascinating originality of the village, which inspired Monet’s series, has not been displaced
even to this day.
The observer can recognise the distinct atmosphere of the town and is taken in by Monet’s ability
and creativity, and it succeeds in conveying the intrinsic form of lightness and warmth in the motifs.
However, during his trip to Italy, Monet not only worked in this small town, but also in the
surrounding areas. In his impressive seascapes, he captured the expansive skies and views of the Alps.
Additionally, he painted views of the city of Ventimiglia and the Nervia Valley, whose
atmospheric beauty reveals itself in Monet’s works.
The unparalleled vegetation, the exceptional light that captured the most vibrant colours, and the
not-so-distant Mediterranean Sea provide an environment in which the artist found innumerable
sources of inspiration.
The painting The Valley of the Nervia (vol. 1, p. 223) depicts a barren landscape, over which the
imposing mountain peaks of the Alps hover.Gardener’s House at Antibes, 1888. Oil on canvas, 66.3 x 93 cm.
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland.The Esterel Mountains, 1888.
Oil on canvas, 65 x 92. The Courtauld Gallery, London.

The Nervia is adumbrated in the lower left corner, and blends with the blue tones of the
Monet painted his works in typical Impressionist style, but under the influence of his own artistic
feelings and with the assistance of a brilliant colour palette, which, in a special manner, echoes the
Italian Riviera.
Following the end of his time in Italy, Monet again returned to places of his earlier productive
periods, as well as new cities, such as London or Rouen, where he completed two of his most famous
thHe again travelled to Italy during the first decade of the 20 century. The purpose of the trip was
to visit the lagoon city Venice, where Monet completed another powerful series.
Later Monet visited Antibes on the recommendation of the art dealer Durand-Ruel. In Antibes,
Monet spent three months during the winter of 1888, during which time he completed a total of forty
The city of Monet’s inspiration would later be visited by other artists such as Picasso and Chagall.
Fascinated by the light’s play on colours, by the vegetation found on the Mediterranean landscape, and
by the impressive coast, every visitor managed to create masterpieces.
The artistic road found there today, which includes the various locations where these great artists
worked, renders a glimpse into the landscape which they captured on canvas in various ways.
The painting Cap d’Antibes, Mistral portrays Antibes from afar. A few trees are scattered in the
foreground, and in the background is the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea and the vastness of the
clear sky, bordered by the sublime majesty of the Alps. The beauty found in nature is not simply
reflected in Monet’s works, but rather is intensified.
The works completed in Antibes portray a range of motifs, which Monet continually repainted at
different times of day, capturing a wide array of colourful lighting. Amongst the motifs is the old
fort, again, encircled by the blue of the water and by the Alps, or the sparse trees scattered along the
coast, as seen in Beach in Juan-les-Pins.
The play of light and shadow are also areas of focus in his works. Monet mostly painted at the
exact times of day at which light is equally both intense and contradictory: sunrise, sunset, and noon
influenced his works. In this manner, Monet wanted to explore new avenues of art for theImpressionists. The images that appear to absorb the various facets of light illustrate Monet’s focus
on painting light, and are therefore precursors to his later great series on haystacks, water lilies, and
the Rouen Cathedral.Villas at Bordighera, 1884.
Oil on canvas, 116.5 x 136.5 cm. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.Fisherman’s House at Varengeville, 1882.
Oil on canvas, 60 x 78 cm. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.The Mediterranean (Cap d’Antibes), 1888. Oil on canvas,
65 x 81 cm. Bequest of Frederick W. Schumacher,
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus.