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Manet Paints Monet: A Summer in Argenteuil…

Manet Paints Monet: A Summer in Argenteuil

by Willibald Sauerländer

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I've always been fascinated about Claude Monet & Édouard Manet's works. I read about Impressionism so Monet is not foreign to me. However, I only knew little about Manet.

The book served as a timeline of events started on war, which Manet volunteered as National Guard, up to the time he met Monet in Argenteuil. The book emphasized the difference of their styles. I like the juxtaposition of both artists. Monet mostly focused on nature while Manet focused on people. I was a little surprised to learn that they were friends. All I know was that Monet idolized Manet but he intended to surpass the skills of Manet. Funny how I thought they were vying for being the best artist and had an unhealthy relationship.

The book also includes images of their paintings and some details of when Manet and Monet did their paintings. I like how the author wrote some explanations and stories. But I don't like it when he describes every paintings because it is very clear to see. The paintings say it all, no need for excessive descriptions. ( )
  phoibee | Apr 23, 2017 |
A fascinating account of the summer when two great artists stayed and painted together in the lovely French village of Argenteuil.
I was given a digital copy by the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest unbiased review. ( )
  Welsh_eileen2 | Jan 23, 2016 |
Defining Moment

As a museum goer, I like to think I appreciate what I see. What Willibard Sauerlander tells me is that there can be so much going on, that I really have no clue. Such is the backstory to Manet Paints Monet.

Setting the scene of 1870s France, when Monet returned from his flight to England and the Netherlands to escape the lunatic war incited by Napoleon III, we find the artist reestablishing in Argenteuil. Manet, on the other hand, is a more troubled person, and finds himself questioning his own style.

They meet and pass a summer together. Manet’s style starts taking on aspects of impressionism. The two artists paint each other. Manet’s one painting of the Monets in his studio/boat however, is laden with significance well beyond the mere documenting of the scene.

This short book is packed with beautiful reproductions of both men’s work as well as others referenced in the text. It’s a pleasure not to have to search online while reading it, because everything you need is presented in time.
Perhaps the highest compliment the author pays to Manet is that while the painting at first seems like a trifling candid snapshot of a summer afternoon, it is in fact a thoroughly thought out, almost geometrically composed portrait of a man, his wife, his impressionist style, and Manet’s own, all appearing as effortless. That is the sign of a master.

David Wineberg ( )
  DavidWineberg | Oct 21, 2014 |
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