This volume on the life and work of Claude Monet is quite unlike any other book on this popular artist, as for the first time his letters have been brought together with his paintings, pastels and drawings. There are letters to his fellow artists and youthful friends, long affectionate letters to family and loved ones and begging letters in times of hardship. We read of Monet's persistence in money matters, his frustrations and successes while on painting expeditions to Italy, Brittany and Norway, and his experience of solitude, illness and bereavement in later life. Monet emerges from the correspondence as a more troubled and complex individual than his sun-filled canvases might suggest.
Alongside the artist's letters are more than 200 superb colour reproductions. These accompany the text and enable the reader to follow the young artist through his first encounters with the Parisian art scene, his days as a commanding presence in the Impressionist movement and the final chapter of his life when he produced some of his most ambitious and colourful work at Giverny.