Claude Monet in books…

Which publications are worthy of featuring in an ideal Claude Monet library? In order to fill its shelves, we asked top experts on the artist and gardener to name their pick of literary references. They all enthusiastically provided us with a selective, carefully considered list of what they believe to be the key publications.

Sylvie Patin, Correspondant de l’Institut (Académie des Beaux-Arts) and Honorary General Curator at Musée d’Orsay

Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet’, biography and comprehensive annotated catalogue, 5 volumes, Lausanne-Paris, La Bibliothèque des Arts, 1974-1991.

“For those interested in Monet as an artist, it is his artworks that grab your attention. That is why it is good to have the comprehensive annotated catalogue compiled by Daniel Wildenstein, which shows them all. This is a book that I happily work with almost every day. By carefully consulting the paintings’ chronology, I was able to meticulously and loyally restore the studio/lounge at Giverny to its appearance in Monet’s time (around 1915).”

‘Turner Whistler Monet’, Paris, Grand Palais, exhibition catalogue, published by RMN, 2004.

“The opportunity to see Monet’s paintings in real life: that is what museums (including the Marmottan Monet Museum) and exhibitions offer, with catalogues constituting both a precious souvenir and a trusted guide. One of the most rewarding exhibitions – for which I was the curator – was the ‘Turner Whistler Monet’ dialogue hung on the picture rails at Grand Palais from 2004 to 2005. It showed the similar visions shared by the three artists while revealing Monet’s artistic career path and explaining his outstanding ‘eye’.”

Philippe Piguet, grandson of Claude Monet’s step daughter, historian, art critic and exhibition curator

Michel Bernard, ‘Deux remords de Claude Monet’, La Table Ronde, 2016.

“This novel recounts the ‘story of love and loss which, from the Mediterranean slopes of the Cévennes mountain range to the edge of the Channel, from London to the Netherlands, from the 1870 siege of Paris to the First World War, haunted the artist throughout his life’ and is a genuine masterpiece of manifest truth. Taking particular care never to indulge in improbability, the author helps us discover the man behind the artist.”

Georges Clemenceau, ‘Claude Monet. The Water Lilies’, Plon, 1928. “A classic to read and reread…”

Marianne Alphant, ‘Claude Monet: une vie dans le paysage’, Hazan, 1993. “Comprehensive and a must-read.”

Monet (1840-1926), Grand Palais exhibition catalogue, Co-published by RMN/Musée d’Orsay, 2010.