Picks and Pans Review: Monet
by Robert Gordon and Andrew Forge
Full of beauty and insight, this book contains 365 marvelously reproduced illustrations, 125 of them in color. They alone represent many hours of enjoyable contemplation. The text is a huge bonus. Gordon and Forge are art historians, and they do a fascinating job of relating Claude Monet's life to his work. He was tortured, for instance, by the fact that he had been able to paint his wife, Camille, on her deathbed in 1879. He told his friend, Georges Clemenceau, that he was aghast at how coldbloodedly he had been able to gauge the light falling across her emaciated face and compared himself to a beast of burden, chained to his work. (Abrams, $67.50)
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