I've always liked Monet.
It took me years to realize he painted bad paintings as well as good ones. The public that adores him and accepts everything he ever did and those that don't like him and dismiss him are missing the truth that lies somewhere in between. That Monet was one of the most important artists of the twentieth century might surprise some people. As seen in the second half of Monet in the 20th Century the exhibition currently at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Monet's paintings of 1914-1926 are equaled only by those of Picasso, Matisse and Pollock in this century.
That Monet was a nearly forgotten figure and was rediscovered around 1950 might also surprise people. It's a story that gives credence to the notion and hopes to the under appreciated that history hasn't been completely written yet; it can change. Fifty years ago Monet wasn't the figure he is today. By 1945 he had been eclipsed by Cézanne, Cubism, Surrealism, Dada, the Bauhaus, Mondrian, Matisse, Picasso, Léger, Braque, and Miró. He was remembered as a classical Impressionist but regarded as passé along with Pissarro and Sisley.
Monet revolutionized modern art in the 1890's with his series' paintings of Haystacks, Cathedrals, Poplars and Views of the Seine. By 1906 he was overtaken by a change in public taste. Monet was a great innovative painter, both a conceptual genius and a virtuoso. He was prolific, rich, and successful but his work didn't attract young modernist artists. Young artists turned instead to Cézanne, Degas, Renoir, the Nabis, the Symbolists, the Neo-Impressionists; notably Lautrec, Vuillard, Bonnard, Seurat, Gauguin, and especially Vincent Van Gogh who captivated the imagination of the art world. In Paris searching for a new direction - away from classical Impressionism, Henri Matisse used what he saw in Cézanne's Bathers and Seurat's pointillism to fashion his version of Fauvism. By 1907 Pablo Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and along with Georges Braque they invented Cubism, a mixture of Cézanne, primitivism, modernism, and abstraction that revolutionized modern art.
While in Paris Matisse attracted a large following of young artists including Derain, Dufy, Rouault, and Vlaminck, and in 1909 he painted The Dance. Further east in Germany and Russia, Kandinsky, Chagall, Kupka and Malevich experimented with pure abstraction. By the outbreak of World War I, European modernism in many forms had triumphed. Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Léger, Gris, the Duchamp brothers, De Chirico, Modigliani, and Klee to name a few artists whose works set the stage for modern art in the twentieth century. Cubism, Futurism, German Expressionism, Dada and Surrealism were some of the major movements set in motion around 1914.
When he died in 1926 at the age of 86, Monet was mostly overlooked, enormously rich and famous, but ignored and dismissed by the avant garde. When in 1927 his Grand Décorations were permanently installed in the curved galleries of The Orangerie that were specially designed to house them and on which Monet labored for the final twelve years of his life, they were given tepid notices by the press. The public murals were neglected and generated few visitors for nearly thirty years. The remainder of his enormous Water Lily paintings and studies remained in his studios at Giverny unseen, unwanted, and gathering dust.
In the thirties and early forties the first generation of American Abstract Expressionists was influenced by Picasso, Matisse, and Miró. By 1945 they were affected by Surrealism also. After the Second World War ended in 1945, the center of the art world shifted from the School of Paris to the New York School. Young American artists in New York City-Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Arshile Gorky, Lee Krasner, Clifford Still, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell-had learned about European modernism chiefly through the influential teaching of Hans Hofmann, and from lectures by John Graham. Many European artists including Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian, André Breton, André Masson, Max Ernst, Max Beckmann, and others who fled the Nazis, moved to or visited New York during the war.
When American Abstract Expressionism triumphed in the late forties and early fifties, the great paintings of 1914-26 by Monet took on new and prophetic significance. By the mid-fifties the studies and huge Water Lily paintings that had languished at Giverny for thirty years were exhibited for the first time causing a sensation. The Museum of Modern Art and other important museums acquired and exhibited them. The paintings in the Orangerie were cleaned and Monet's work and place in history was seen in a new light. The late paintings were tough and impassioned in a way that only Soutine and the American Abstract Expressionists could match. Today because of the quality of his paintings and not just his myth, Claude Monet is loved as a great Impressionist and as one of the first modernist painters.
Monet is a great crowd pleaser and immensely popular (second only to Vincent Van Gogh). Monet's pictures deliver the goods to an adoring public hungry for beauty and culture and as seen by the end of this important exhibition even to his most skeptical critics. Monet comes off not only as the leading practitioner of Impressionism (which is probably the most important and popular movement of the nineteenth century) but as a potent and prophetic force in twentieth century painting as well. I like Monet's work a lot, but I don't like everything he did.
A Grand Exhibition
Monet in the 20th Century at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is an ambitious and extraordinary exhibition well worth seeing. Paul Tucker with George Shackelford and MaryAnne Stevens score high marks for their curatorial efforts and for amassing so many important pictures together in one place. There are eighty-six examples of Monet's major series' of paintings done in the twentieth century. The paintings are presented in chronological order with an inordinate amount of scholarship and research that helps the viewer along the way, the catalogue is excellent offering a wealth of information. Blockbuster exhibitions tend to attract huge crowds that make seeing the paintings difficult, if not sometimes unpleasant and this show is no exception.
The museum attempts to recreate the four exhibitions of new work Monet had in his lifetime during the twentieth century. Reuniting actual paintings that were included in those shows of 1900, 1904, 1909 and 1912. Unfortunately those efforts add to the ennui that characterizes much of the first half of this exhibition. Fifty-four paintings including three of The Garden Path at Giverny, four of The Japanese Bridge over the Lily Pond, fourteen London Views of Parliament, Charing Cross and Waterloo Bridges, twenty-four examples of an early series of small Water Lilies and nine Views of Venice comprise the first four rooms of the show.
I generally liked the first two rooms although I thought the London paintings were overhung. I was surprised that I disliked nearly all the small Water Lilies in the third room. They seemed tasteless and stale. Frankly I expected to like them, but seeing twenty-four of them together in one large gallery was a ghastly experience. I liked only one of the Views of Venice paintings - the Palazzo Contarini, 1908. The paintings although beautiful individually (especially The Garden Paths and Views of Parliament), too often resemble the production of an accomplished and sophisticated assembly line. They're stodgy when compared to what was being made in Paris by Matisse and Picasso at the same time. By 1911 Monet's paintings were at a dead end. The vitality of his Impressionism had gone stale. When he returned to painting after a nearly three year hiatus in 1914, he began his most ambitious, original and passionate work of this century. (View Views of Venice and View of Parliament)
The remaining thirty-two paintings make up the remarkable second half of the exhibition culminating in the five Grand Décorations (large scale Water Lilies) made in surprising and relative obscurity at Giverny at the end of Monet's life. Besides ten magnificent large Studies, there are four large horizontal views of the pond including Wisterias that are terrific pictures, and nine others including seven small squarish paintings of the house and the Japanese bridge, that are among my favorite series' of Monet's work. These paintings at first appear dense and out of focus but are full of rich color and lush brush strokes. They have always reminded me of Hans Hofmann, mid-fifties Willem de Kooning and Larry Poons. I was surprised by how much I liked the series of four Weeping Willow Trees that were homage's to France's fallen soldiers painted in the wake of World War I. (View Weeping Willow, 1921)
For an abstract painter today experiencing for the first time, Monet's large scale paintings in the room called: Studies: Water Lilies, Weeping Willows, and Irises 1914-1919, beginning the second half of the exhibition there can only be a profound shock of recognition. A welcome shock to be sure. The joy of seeing paintings strangely familiar yet new, fresh, and good.
These ten large scale studies were among the paintings that languished unheralded and unseen in Monet's studio at Giverny for thirty years after his death. These were some of the paintings that brought Monet back into prominence albeit briefly in the 1950's when their rediscovery ignited a short lived but frenzied clamoring by museums and collectors eager to purchase them. These were some of the paintings that lent historical relevancy to American Abstract Expressionism in its infancy. They were painted by Monet when he was approaching eighty and the oldest Abstract Expressionists were still youngsters. These were some of the paintings Clement Greenberg referred to in his 1956 essay, The Later Monet, that is still the finest analysis of Monet in print. Greenberg begins by saying:
We see nearly abstract visions of the water lily pond and the garden that are sometimes joyous and lyrical, but are usually somber, mysterious, murky and brooding. We see prescient reflections on the art of painting rising from the depths of the wily old master of Impressionism. They will surprise the viewer looking for classical Impressionism. These vaguely abstract landscapes are loaded with information and provide clues about Claude Monet the artist and how he formulated and created his massive Water Lily paintings at the end of his long career.
There are six canvases that are about six and a half feet square, one vertical painting and three long horizontals in the group of ten studies. In general they're composed with vertical and horizontal directional drifts brushed boldly - creating views of the lily pond and it's surrounding trees. Broad brush strokes; scumbled areas; encrusted, dry, layered, thick and thin surfaces; paint mysteriously dry skinned and often painted over textured traces of multiple undercoats; color ranging from deep purples, violets, blues and greens to white, gray, pale lilac, lavender, cobalt blue, turquoise, orange, and high yellow; subtle, close valued color areas; small brush marks; shadowy shapes; tonal harmonies and in a few paintings clear and defined contrasts of shadowy forms, ellipses and marks that highlight, echo and enliven the flat picture plane. Often the edges of these pictures are left unfinished and raw - underscoring the look and feel of modernity. These paintings are so fresh - so raw - they appear as though they might've been made recently. Monet apparently was uncomfortable about showing these paintings because they didn't have a conventional finish like most of his more familiar work. These ten unconventional studies are a veritable concert by a grand master of the art of painting. Each picture is like a sonata and underscores the notion that Monet realized his radical vision by creating purely optical paintings.
The Grand Décorations (large Water Lilies) are the culminating masterpieces of Monet's career. These were the enormous paintings that he worked on until his death in 1926. In May 1927 a selection of twenty-two canvases was permanently installed in the Orangerie in Paris, Monet's final gift to the people of France. The paintings are large approaching twenty feet in length and six and a half feet high, in some cases they are multiple panels joined together, the largest of these are more than thirty feet. These large scale Water Lilies are painted in the thick and bold manner of the ten large scale studies I just discussed. The Grand Décorations are slightly more radical in conception than the studies, as the tendency toward all-over composition and the monochromatic dominates throughout.
The five Grand Décorations in Boston feel lush, moody, deep, mysterious, serene, exalted, gloomy, intense, beautiful, serious, melancholic, ambiguous and slightly sinister. The paintings reflect nature; they faithfully depict what Monet saw when he looked at the pond or the weeping willow trees but they don't rely on conventional space or mimic the appearance of things. The paintings approach abstraction or the kind of abstraction of Abstract Expressionism and Lyrical Abstraction more than Cubism, Fauvism or even Kandinsky. Perhaps Monet took liberties with the way things actually looked, but I think he painted things exactly as they actually appeared, albeit with a fresh perspective and from a different angle. As close as the largest paintings get to becoming total depiction's of atmospheric abstractions, Monet grounds himself in concrete reality and the viewer senses the landscape. The ambiguity of reflections of air on water, and objects in and on water makes it impossible to be sure of what you are actually seeing and what Monet was exactly painting. Large scale, almost life-size, the paintings become physical presence's and you can feel them viscerally and visually. By building layer upon layer of close valued, luminous colored strokes of oil paint, across areas and vast fields of highly keyed, chromatically rich, and close valued color, Monet achieved a look and feel that goes well beyond conventional easel painting. Monet created a new pictorial language that enabled his art to breathe and endlessly expand. This exhibition makes clear that the history of abstract painting has still not been entirely written.
The reappearance of these ten masterful studies and the five more fully realized Grand Décorations (large Water Lilies) of Monet point the way to a comparison with Abstract Expressionism of the 1950's and Lyrical Abstraction of the 1960's and 1970's. The Monet show comes at a time when New York has recently seen Bonnard, Diebenkorn, Léger and Soutine retrospectives and the first Nicholas de Ställ in thirty-five years and that is hopeful. And the Whitney Museum along with the Museum of Modern Art mounts major Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock retrospectives. These important exhibitions bring the faint hope that quality in abstract painting might begin to re-emerge finally from the Duchampian eclipse of the past twenty odd years. Perhaps there is a change in the plein air.
A Contemporary Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Similarly to the thirty-year neglect of Monet's last decade of work Lyrical Abstraction has been neglected since the 1970's. We are living in an age when the best painters and the best paintings made in the 1960's and 1970's have nearly vanished from view, languishing unseen and untaught for nearly thirty years. While it would be naive to assume that everyone is going to prefer that type of art (late Monet, Friedel Dzubas, William Pettet, John Griefen, Dan Christensen, John Hoyland, Jules Olitski, Joan Snyder, Larry Poons, Ronald Davis, et al) it is not naive to ask that Lyrical Abstraction be accorded its hard earned place in the historical and critical landscape. Scores of important American artists remain underrepresented and undervalued in the marketplace and buyers are tentative at best. Compounding the problem are the self proclaimed cutting edge members of the academic establishment and the press who carefully manage the art news, cynically claiming that history has already been written.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston therefore is to be applauded for its accompanying exhibition Reflections Of Monet, which includes Abstract Expressionism, Colorfield Painting and Lyrical Abstraction and is located on the main floor of the museum; running concurrently with Monet In The 20th Century on the second floor.
Reflections Of Monet has alongside an 1880's Monet landscape examples from the museum's permanent collection that reflect Monet's lasting influence on important contemporary painting. Included are works by Jackson Pollock, Hans Hofmann, Mark Rothko, Philip Guston, Richard Pousette-Dart, Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Ellsworth Kelly, Jules Olitski, Larry Poons, Joan Snyder, Fairfield Porter, and others. Frankly I wish there were more inclusions by living artists like Milton Resnick, John Griefen, William Pettet, Dan Christensen, and Ronald Davis' Music Series and I'd like to see the museum do an in depth expansion of this exhibition.
Monet's late paintings forge a firm basis for American Abstract Expressionism, Colorfield Painting and Lyrical Abstraction. The large scale Water Lily Paintings verge on abstraction and are unsurpassed in their pioneering efforts at creating viable pictorial structure from color, surface, luminosity, value, hue and chromatic shifts. The paintings don't rely on sculptural space, chiaroscuro or cubist space, (manipulations of light and dark contrasts) or on a horizon line. These are radically optical pictures. The close valued color shifts, luminosity, paint quality, brushwork, texture, and alloverness of drawing anticipate Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, the arrival of Morris Louis, Larry Poons and much of what was to come in the best abstract painting from the 1940's to the present day. As seen in this exhibition Monet becomes a powerful grandfather figure to a lot of very important twentieth-century artists.
Of course it hasn't always been so. For many years Monet was dismissed as a rich, crowd pleasing, decorator of sweet, cloying, pretty, decadent and expensive scenes (while still being acknowledged as one of the leaders and founders of the once revolutionary Impressionist movement). Even in the 1950's when Monet's Water Lilies finally emerged from Giverny the American Abstract Expressionists were reluctant to endorse him. When I was an art student in the 1960's it was very risky to even admit liking Monet. Impressionism by the twentieth century was relegated to the movements of the past. Monet was eclipsed first by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Neo-Impressionism and later by Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism all the other isms of this century. He was all but ignored and relegated to the dustbins and museum galleries of the nineteenth century.
For nearly thirty years after his death in 1926 his most important and powerful paintings were ignored and dismissed as studio rejects gathering dust in his studio at Giverny. The history had already been written, the experts had all weighed in. The Grand Décorations at the Orangerie in Paris were boring and they were neglected for many years. The orchestration of pure color harmonics as the basis for structuring advanced picture making became archaic and relegated to history as an abberational discovery of the Impressionists.
However the truth that is revealed in Monet In The 20th Century indicates that Monet never stopped being a revolutionary artist. In fact Monet stands as one of the most original artists of both the nineteenth and the twentieth centuries. I've long thought of Monet as one of about a dozen great artists of the twentieth century of the first rank, along with Picasso, Matisse, Miró, Mondrian, Kandinsky, and Pollock, Monet's achievement was producing a body of work both of its own time yet filled with the prophecy of the art of the future.
A Brief Chronology
It is useful to briefly review some of the important events that led Monet to the pinnacle of nineteenth-century artistic fame and fortune and his ultimate eclipse and rediscovery in the twentieth century.
In Le Havre, on the North Coast of France during the late 1850's the then teenage Claude Monet who had become adept as a political caricaturist began developing the art of plein air landscape painting (under the tutelage of Eugéne Boudin) perhaps as a response to and a logical outgrowth of the then popular Barbizon School. The idea was to capture the changing effects of light in nature through the immediate perception of the artist - painting those effects directly at the scene. Although the Barbizon painters also painted from life notably in the forest at Fountainbleu most worked from sketches and memories of nature in their studios. The plein air approach was to be more spontaneous and thus essentially more truthful and less idealized.
By the early 1860's Monet was a young and ambitious French painter living in Paris with an ever widening circle of young artist colleagues. An admirer of Delacroix and an excellent colorist and draftsman, he was attempting to begin his career and in spite of a few failures to be accepted by the Salon, he achieved a modicum of success and attention. He was aware of the enormous reputation and impact in avant-garde circles that the Realist School of Gustave Courbet exerted and he was also conscious of the sensational impact the paintings of Edouard Manet had on the growing French avant garde as result of the infamous Salon des Refusés of 1863.
During the 1870's Monet along with Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Cézanne, Manet, Sisley, Morisot, Bazille, Caillebotte and others including Mary Cassatt founded what became known as the Impressionist movement. Essentially creating their own Salon, the Impressionists mounted a succession of group exhibitions in their own gallery. These revolutionary artists attempted to take the realist lessons of Courbet and the shocking insights of early Manet one step further by depicting everyday life as subject and content for their art. Emile Zola championed their cause in the pages of Le Figaro and eventually the work began to attract a following. Tragically, Monet's first wife Camille who bore him two sons died at the age of thirty-two in 1879 while the family suffered from abject poverty. In the early eighties Monet remarried and began to emerge as a good business man and as a commercial success.
By the end of the 1880's the Impressionist movement had become successful. Although Manet and Bazille had died, Cézanne still languished in obscurity, Emile Zola abandoned them as decadent, Sisley and Pissaro suffered in the marketplace, Renoir, Degas and Monet became wealthy. In 1883 Monet moved to Giverny and with his two sons, wife Alice Hoschedé Monet and Alice's six children, rented a house and garden. During the '80's he stopped showing with the Impressionists. He began having regular exhibitions at various galleries especially with his longtime dealer Paul Durand-Ruel in Paris. Monet's landscapes attracted a following in America, Asia, and across Europe. In 1889 Monet and Rodin had a joint retrospective in Paris. The next wave - the Post Impressionists like Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Georges Seurat and others attempted to follow Impressionism's lead by mounting their own group shows in Paris.
Monet bought his house and garden at Giverny in the early 1890's. He also acquired surrounding acreage and expanded his property. Eventually Monet built his elaborate gardens, the water lily pond and Japanese bridge with the help of a staff of five full-time gardeners. By the late eighties he was selling paintings before they were made. During the 90's Monet painted in series of related subjects. He painted the Haystack Series, Poplars, Views of the Seine, the Normandy Coast, the Rouen Cathedrals and he made studies of The Garden and the Water Lily Pond. His exhibitions received enormous critical acclaim and huge financial return rewarded his hardwork. However the complexities of life began to intrude on Monet's serenity and for a few years at the end of the 90's Monet stopped painting altogether.
By 1897 the Dreyfus Affair had become an enormous scandal in France. Emile Zola in defense of the innocent Jewish French officer rose to his defense by writing J'Accuse a scathing condemnation of French military justice in L'Aurore. When Zola was attacked and put on trial only Monet and Pissarro from his old artist friends came to his aid. Degas, Cézanne and Renoir were like most of France rabid Dreyfus haters and Anti-Semites. When Zola was convicted and fled to London, again Monet supported him. When finally Dreyfus was cleared and Zola returned to France, Monet sank into a deep depression over the sordid and disgraceful affair.
By 1899, his old friend Alfred Sisley and his wife died leaving their two children burdened by debts. Monet organized an auction in their behalf, and finally after a long illness Suzanne Hoschedé Butler, one of Monet's beloved stepdaughters died, leaving him and his wife bereft. By the dawn of the twentieth century the sixty year old Claude Monet was at the pinnacle of international success as the leading figure of French Impressionism. His work was well known all over the world and an adoring public clamored for his paintings. His paintings commanded record setting prices and the demand for them remained high. Some say that Monet retreated into the private confines of his studios and gardens at Giverny for political reasons, or personal reasons but in actuality he was an extremely busy man, an extraordinarily successful and prolific painter who still had a lot of work to do. However, Impressionism once a rebellious, vital, and fresh movement had passed by then into history and into the museums and held an exalted position as the French national style.
During the next ten years the entire world would change. The art world in Paris was about to be turned on its ear as the Nabis, Art Nouveau and Neo-Impressionism would soon make way as Matisse, Fauvism, and Pablo Picasso arrived in Paris. The turmoil and clamor of the twentieth century with all of its complexities, tribulations, and inventions were about to begin.
Modernism in painting and sculpture began to catch hold. By 1906 (the year he died) Cézanne's retrospective in Paris took the art world by storm. Within a year of Cézanne's death Pablo Picasso painted Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and with Georges Braque, invented Cubism - a mixture of Cézanne, primitivism, modernism and abstraction. By 1909 Matisse painted The Dance and elsewhere in Europe, Kandinsky, Kupka, Chagall, Malevich and others experimented with abstract painting. As modern art caught on, perceptions of things changed.
By 1911 Cubism attracted a long list of adherents and became the important international measuring stick against which all the modern art movements and important avant garde ideas were weighed. Picasso and Braque's Cubism with its multi-complex spatial facets, Cézanne's ideas about observing forms in nature. Matisse's new understanding of the figure and drawing with line, color and space, and the rediscovery of Vincent Van Gogh's emotional expressionism influenced generations of painters to come. By 1914 Matisse, Cubism, Surrealism and other modernist movements exerted enormous influence on twentieth-century art.
Between 1900 and 1914 Monet painted in London, Venice, and Giverny. Generally his Giverny paintings were of the garden, the pond, and the house. Between 1899 and 1904 he made several trips to London producing nearly one hundred close valued and harmonically tonal views of Parliament, Charing Cross Bridge and Waterloo Bridge and in 1908 he and his wife vacationed in Venice where he made thirty-seven paintings. Monet's work sold to the rich and famous and he became a very wealthy man. In 1911 Alice Hoschedé Monet died and Monet stopped painting again for a few years. He developed eye problems and his son Jean Monet died in 1914 after a long illness.
After the breakout of World War I Monet stopped having exhibitions of new work. Frequently selling paintings to dealers and collectors for huge prices, - he didn't need to show. During the last decade of his life Monet concentrated exclusively on making his enormous Water Lily paintings, refusing to exhibit them often discouraging collectors from buying them. He died at the age of eighty-six in the autumn of 1926. In May 1927, twenty-two of his huge canvases were installed permanently in the Orangerie in Paris, Claude Monet's gift to the people of France. In a final, bittersweet irony the greatest masterworks by the most famous and celebrated artist in the history of France was for thirty years, neglected, generally considered to be melancholic and nostalgic relics of the past by French art critics and the press in general.
The opportunity to see 86 paintings by Claude Monet at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in its exhibition: Monet In The 20th Century, September 20th to December 27th 1998, shouldn't be missed by any serious viewer of important contemporary painting. After Boston the exhibition moves to The Royal Academy of Arts in London January 21st to April 18th 1999. Unfortunately for those interested viewers, Boston and London are the only venues.
©1998, Ronnie Landfield, New York City, October 1998.
Suggested Reading List
Monet in The Twentieth Century, exhibition catalogue, Paul Hayes Tucker, George Shackelford and MaryAnne Stevens et.al., New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1998.
After Monet, by Jed Perl, Modern Painters a Quarterly Journal of The Fine Arts, Spring 1993, Vol.6, #1, pp 30-34.
Jackson Pollock An American Saga, by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith. New York, Clarkson N. Potter Inc., 1989. Studies in Impressionism, by John Rewald, New York, Harry N. Abrams, 1986
The New Painting, Impressionism 1874-1886, exhibition catalogue, San Francisco, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco with the National Gallery, Washington DC. 1986.
Monet's Years at Giverny Beyond Impressionism, exhibition catalogue, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1978.
The New York School the Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties, by Irving Sandler, New York, Harper and Row, 1978.
Post-Impressionism from Van Gogh to Gauguin, by John Rewald, New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1978.
The Lost World of The Impressionists, by Alice Bellony Rewald, New York, Gallery Press, 1976.
The History of Impressionism, by John Rewald, New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1973.
Camille Pissarro, Letters to his son Lucien, Edited by John Rewald, London, Pantheon Books, 1972.
Art and Culture, critical essays by Clement Greenberg, Boston, Beacon Press 1961
Monet in the 20th Century (online) is on view through Dec. 27 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "From the age of 60 until his death at age 86, Claude Monet (1840 - 1926) produced an extraordinary body of work. A carefully selected group of more than 80 of these paintings will be brought together for the first time to form Monet in the 20th Century, the first exhibition to focus exclusively on Monet's style during the turbulent opening decades of the 20th century."