Along with Turner, no artist has sought more than Claude Monet (1840-1926) to capture light itself on canvas. Of all the Impressionists, it was the man Cézanne called "only an eye, but my God what an eye!" who stayed completely true to the principle of absolute fidelity to the visual sensation, painting directly from the object.
It could be said that Monet reinvented the possibilities of color, and whether it was through his early interest in Japanese prints, his time in the dazzling light of Algeria as a conscript, or his personal acquaintance with the major painters of the late 1800s, what Monet produced throughout his long life would change forever the way we perceive both the natural world and its attendant phenomena. The high point of his explorations were the late series of waterlilies, painted in his own garden at Giverny, that, in their moves towards almost total formlessness, are really the origin of abstract art.
This biography does full justice to this most remarkable and profoundly influential of artists, and offers numerous reproductions and archive photos alongside a detailed and insightful commentary.
Daniel Wildenstein (1917-2001) was an art historian and member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (Paris). From 1939 onwards, he was Director of the Wildenstein Galleries of New York, London and Tokyo. He edited several international journals, e.g. the magazine Arts from 1956-1962 and the Gazette des Beaux-Arts after 1963. He co-founded the Fondation Wildenstein in 1970 (it was renamed the Wildenstein Institute in 1984), and was a prime mover in many exhibitions of international repute. Daniel Wildenstein also edited the catalogues raisonnés of various 18th, 19th and 20th century artists. He was a world authority on Impressionism, and published catalogues of the works of Gauguin, Manet and Monet.