This biography, based on thousands of never-before translated letters and unpublished sources, is the first account of Monet's turbulent private life and how it determined his expressive, sensuous, sensational painting. He was as obsessional in his love affairs as in his love of nature, and changed his art decisively three times when the woman at the centre of his life changed. Enduring devastating bereavements, he pushed the frontier of painting inward, to evoke memory and the passing of time. His work also responded intensely to outside cataclysms - the Dreyfus Affair, the First World War. Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau was his closest friend. Rich intellectual currents connected him to writers from Zola to Proust; affection and rivalry to Renoir, Pissarro and Manet.
Monet said he was driven 'wild with the need to put down what I experience'. This book immerses us in that passionate experience, transforming our understanding of the man, his paintings and the fullness of his achievement.
Jackie Wullschläger is Chief Art Critic of the Financial Times. Her books include the prize-winning Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller (2000) and Chagall: Love and Exile (2008), which won the Spear’s Biography of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize. She lives in London.