From Library Journal
Being the first American museum to acquire a Monet and now possessing a significant Monet collection, the Art Institute of Chicago is, not surprisingly, currently presenting the largest, most comprehensive retrospective of the artist's works ever staged. Distinguished art scholar and curator Stuckey has brought together from public and private collections worldwide works that represent every facet of the Impressionist painter's long career. In his introductory essay for this exhibition catalog, Stuckey points out gaps that exist in Monet scholarship, especially from the mid-1880s to the artist's death in 1926. A detailed, 71-page chronology including images of works by Monet's contemporaries, key Monet works not in the exhibition, and historical photographs underscores Monet's profound influence on modern art as well as art of the previous century. Above all, readers will luxuriate in the 161 magnificent full-color plates. Popular garden author Russell (Gardens of the Riviera, Rizzoli, 1994) highlights Monet's year-round horticultural talents and provides an ideal companion volume to the exhibition catalog. She traces Monet's purchase of the now-famous apple orchard site, his meticulous plans to convert Giverny to a natural, informal garden, and the recent, spectacular restoration. The nurseries from which Monet ordered water lilies and peonies, his "paintbox beds" for experimenting with colors, friendships with fellow gardeners Caillebotte and Clemenceau, and lively details of the day-to-day monumental maintenance chores combine with sumptuous color photographs of the restored garden, reproductions of paintings, and historical photographs to create a delightful publication. Monet's genius for using the garden as his canvas and immortalizing Giverny in impressionistic masterpieces is richly conveyed. Both volumes are highly recommended.?Joan Levin, MLS, Chicago
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A great-aunt who lived in Normandy first introduced Russell to French village life and the joys of gardening. That deeply personal bond continues to this day, with Russell's own residence in the country's southernmost region serving to connect her with the world of French horticulture. Although her previous book, Gardens of the Riviera
, was a survey of that region's notable landscapes, here Russell effectively describes the development of one exceptional garden and the passionate urges behind its creation. Beautifully told and illustrated, this homage to Claude Monet's magical Giverny captures the extravagant sensuality and seamless aesthetic principles that governed all aspects of the impressionist artist's life and work. As befits one of the world's renowned gardens, a wealth of colorplates documents the garden in its present, restored glory, and also depicts Monet's later work--canvases inspired by Giverny's now famous water garden and flower beds and borders. Alice Joyce