Friday, June 11, 2010

the later years of Claude Monet

I went down to the Gagosian Gallery in New York City which is exhibiting a rare and stunning collection of late Monet paintings through June 26th. If you are in the area, please go down and see it. I went with a few friends, one who is a painter, and we spent at least an hour in the several rooms. The painting I show here from 1906 is bucolic but most of the paintings around 1914-1919 are not. How could they be? The artist's eyesight was failing him; he had lived through the ravages of World War I in which his sons and the sons of his good friend Renoir had fought. Death had taken his beloved second wife Alice and his older son Jean as well as his beautiful stepdaughter Susanne whose portrait on a hill is the cover for my novel CLAUDE & CAMILLE. The old friends he had loved had died or were far from him and his work, which has seemed so radical in 1865, was now old style. More and more he stayed within his house and gardens, finding contentment there. And still he did not "cease from exploration" as T.S. Eliot writes.

Do go if you are in the New York City area. Several pictures are from private collections and may not be easily seen again. I hope to go again myself before it closes.


  1. Hi, Stephanie. This post brings to mind the 'Monet and Abstraction' show I got to see a couple of times at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid.

    As the name suggests, it highlights the abstract nature of some of Monet's later works and how some of the leaders of the abstract expressionist movement drew on him for inspiration. The show's premise is that much of this work by Monet was forgotten and neglected until artists like Ellsworth Kelly made pilgrimages to Giverny (not then the tourist attraction it has become). Some of the abstract artists represented in the show in addition to Kelly are Rothko, Pollock (with some great juxtapositions with Monet's 'all-over' paint styles), Gerhard Richter, de Kooning, Joan Mitchell, Sam Francis, Cy Twombly.

    In case, your interested, you can see a a virtual tour of the show here. The general description and index is found here. They are in English.

    The links should work, but in case they don't, they are:

    There is also a video (in Spanish):

  2. I'm just now dropping in on your blog and I want to tell you that I find it fascinating, I look forward to reading your other works.