Claude Monet, Free Thinker
Radical Republicanism, Darwin's Science, and the Evolution of Impressionist Aesthetics
Table Of Contents
- About the author(s)/editor(s)
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- List of Illustrations
- Chapter 1: The Triumph of Secularism
- Chapter 2: Republicanism and Science
- Chapter 3: Claude Monet, Free Thinker
- Chapter 4: A Scientific Style and Its Interpreters
- Chapter 5: The Demise of Anthropocentrism
- Chapter 6: Time and Mortality
- Chapter 7: The Search for Harmony
- Chapter 8: The Painted Garden
- Select Bibliography
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Fig. 1. Claude Monet, Jules Didier, Butterfly Man, c. 1860. Art Institute, Chicago.
Fig. 2. Claude Monet, Parisian actors and actress, c. 1860. Musée Marmottan, Paris.
Fig. 3. Georges Clemenceau, c. 1878.
Fig. 4. Clemenceau, c. 1910.
Fig. 5. Clemenceau and Monet, at Giverny, 1921.
Fig. 6. Claude Monet, The Magpie, 1869. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Fig. 7. Claude Monet, Camille Monet on her Deathbed, 1879. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Fig. 8. Paul Cézanne, Portrait of Gustave Geffroy, 1895. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Fig. 9. Gustave Geffroy, 1893.
Fig. 10. Monet and Geffroy at Giverny, c. 1920, photograph by Sacha Guitry, Roger-Viollet.
Fig. 11. Octave Mirbeau. ← ix | x →
Fig. 12. Claude Monet, The Petite Creuse River, 1889. Art Institute, Chicago.
Fig. 13. Claude Monet, Poppies (Argenteuil), 1875. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
Fig. 14. Claude Monet, The Fisherman’s House at Varengeville, 1882. Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
Fig. 15. Claude Monet, Gorge du Petit Ailly at Varengeville, 1897. Private collection.
Fig. 16. Claude Monet, On the Cliff near Dieppe, 1897. Private collection.
Fig. 17. Claude Monet, Railway Bridge at Argenteuil, 1873. Private collection.
Fig. 18. Claude Monet, Rouen Cathedral, Portal and Saint Romain Tower, Full Sun, 1894. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Fig. 19. Claude Monet, Rouen Cathedral, Symphony in Gray and Pink, 1894. National Museum Cardiff, Wales.
Fig. 20. Claude Monet, Water Lily Pond, Green Harmony, 1899. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Fig. 21. Garden map, Giverny.
Fig. 22. Claude Monet, Train in the Snow, 1875. Musée Marmottan, Paris.
Fig. 23. Claude Monet, Saint-Lazare Station, the Normandy Train, 1877. Art Institute, Chicago.
Fig. 24. Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1907. Tate, London.
Fig. 25. Water Lilies, Morning. Room One, Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.
Fig. 26. Water Lilies, Green Reflections. Room One, Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.
Fig. 27. Water Lilies, Clouds. Room One, Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.
Fig. 28. Water Lilies, Clear Morning with Willows. Room Two, Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.
Fig. 29. Water Lilies, The Two Willows, detail. Room Two, Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.
Fig. 30. Water Lilies, The Two Willows. Room Two, Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris.
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Many have contributed to the eventual completion of this project and are thus deserving of recognition here in its opening pages. I am indebted first to Brigham Young University’s College of Humanities for its generosity in funding trips to museums in Europe as well as here in the U.S. There is no substitute for seeing a Monet in person; no image in a book can ever reproduce the subtleties of color, surface textures, and light effects that the artist achieved with his paints. One memorable evening spent at the Art Institute of Chicago chatting with conference colleagues while staring simultaneously at a wall of Monets yielded more insight into his aesthetic theory than a year of studying Wildenstein’s books.
My students have been especially helpful in the refinement of my approach to Monet’s oeuvre. I am grateful to all those who took my Impressionism in the Arts senior seminar over the last twenty years and who listened to and critiqued my ideas as they developed. Two in particular deserve special thanks: Michael McKeon whose master’s thesis helped deepen my understanding of the philosophical implications of Monet’s aesthetic choices, and Brittany Atkinson who, as my research assistant, helped me sift through Monet’s extensive—and rather mundane—personal correspondence in search of the rare and often embedded comment that hinted at the artist’s political leanings. ← xi | xii →
I have profited too from the public forum in which to test my ideas provided by conferences sponsored by two interdisciplinary humanities organizations: the National Association of Humanities Educators (NAHE) and the Humanities Education and Research Association (HERA). I appreciate the good will of colleagues who, over the last few years, have listened to early drafts of different segments of this book, offered advice, and encouraged its completion. Material from two articles I published previously in HERA’s official journal, Interdisciplinary Humanities, has been incorporated into this longer study of Monet: “Retreat to Eden: Time and the Cosmos in Monet’s Giverny Images” (vol. 14, num. 2, Summer-Fall, 1997, 173–190); and “The Cathedral as Nexus of Time and Memory in the Works of Monet and Proust” (vol. 16, nums. 1–2, Spring/Fall, 1999, 1–13).
I also wish to thank Professor Philip Nord of Princeton University whose pioneering book Impressionists and Politics: Art and Democracy in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Routledge, 2000) helped provide critical historical background for my own work on Monet. Professor Nord accepted my invitation to deliver two lectures on Impressionism and French history at BYU and, while visiting our campus, was gracious enough to listen to my ideas and offer encouragement for my project. I greatly admire his ability to produce scholarly work that is both insightful and eloquent.
Finally as always, I thank my wife, Connie, who, as an art lover and a consummate gardener, has always appreciated Monet’s contributions in both realms. She has been a constant source of moral support throughout the writing process. Together, we pay tribute to our dear friend Huguette Richards who in 1988 introduced us to the gardens at Giverny and in so doing set in motion the chain of events that produced this book. Her passing in February of 2014 left the world a poorer place and we miss her.
Michael J. Call
- XII, 175
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Hardcover)
- Publication date
- 2015 (September)
- Secularism Darwin Painting art
- New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2015. XII, 175 pp., num. ill.