Le Peintre Claude Monet

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Le Peintre Claude Monet
Ɵ Notice sur son œuvre par Théodore Duret suivie du catalog de ses tableaux exposés dans la galerie du journal illustré La Vie moderne, le 7 juin 1880 et jours suivants. With portrait by Édouard Manet. G. Charpentier, éditeur, Paris 1880. First edition of Duret's text (22.2 x 13.5 cm). Binding strictly period : Full brown percaline à la Bradel. Catalog for Monet's first major solo exhibition, featuring his lithographed portrait by Manet. Much more than a simple catalog, this is the first work devoted to Claude Monet. Théodore Duret's important and remarkable preface occupies the first 13 pages. In it, Duret discusses the revolution in landscape painting, initiated by Delacroix, then Corot, Rousseau, Courbet and Manet, and now continued by Monet: "Black paint was becoming clear. One would be surprised, if one could revisit a Salon from thirty years ago, at the change that has taken place in the general tone of coloring. In those days, painters usually spread a veritable sauce on the canvas, preparing their backgrounds with bitumen, litharge or chocolate, and barely daring to add a smear of color, which was soon attenuated or devoured by the general blackness of the underpainting. They seemed to live in cellars, blinded by full light and fiery colorations (...) The appearance in our midst of Japanese albums and pictures completed the transformation, by introducing us to an absolutely new system of coloring (...) Claude Monet, among our landscape painters, was the first to have the audacity to go as far as they did in his colorations. And it is in this way that he has provoked the most ridicule, for the lazy European eye still mistakes the range of tones so true and delicate to Japanese artists as bariolage". The last leaf of the catalog gives the titles of Monet's paintings: Gare Saint-Lazare, Les Drapeaux rue Montorgueil, Bateaux à Argenteuil, La Salle à manger, Vétheuil, fin du jour, Pommiers en fleurs au bord de l'eau, Le Givre, Effet de soleil, etc. Manet's beautiful lithographed portrait of Monet testifies to the special bond between the great precursor of Impressionism and his younger colleague, who spearheaded the movement. This friendship was unfailing. In 1883, when Manet's leg had just been amputated, Monet was his last visitor, before being one of his pallbearers a few days later. And it was Monet who then worked tirelessly to have Olympia included in public collections. This catalog is particularly rare. It was offered for sale at the time of the exhibition at a price of fifty centimes, but none of them sold. No one was interested in Monet at the time. To encourage people to enter the gallery, Charpentier had it distributed free of charge to passers-by. Of the eighteen paintings hung, only one sold, purchased by... the wife of the publisher-galerist: Les Glaçons. Winter of 1879-80. This did not dampen Monet's ardor, however, and he was to declare to a journalist from La Vie moderne who came to interview him in Vétheuil: "I am and I still want to be an Impressionist". Provenance: Private collection.
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