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Monet: The Restless Vision


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About the Author

Jackie Wullschl ger 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.


Jackie Wullschläger's magisterial and utterly engrossing biography of Monet is a tour de force. Many of us know the painter but this beautifully written and meticulously researched book brings alive Monet as a man, and fundamentally changes our understanding and appreciation of his life and work. A triumph.
*Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery*

Monet is in luck, and so are we. The man who emerges from Jackie Wullschläger's pages is vulnerable, relentless, complex, believable. He has found a biographer who cares deeply for painting, and who tells his life-story always wondering, as we must, how Monet's pursuit of brightness became the grave, even tragic, thing it is. Only a critic of Wullschläger's gifts could make us look at Impression: Sunrise again and see the uncertain northern light in it. Her book is an utterly absorbing read.
*T.J. Clark*

Jackie Wullschläger brings Monet to life with thrilling immediacy as he moves via a series of terrifying leaps into the unknown from nineteenth-century naturalism into Impressionism and ends up, after a long and astonishing career, bringing painting to the brink of twentieth-century abstraction. This is a captivating biography of great emotional warmth, delicacy and pictorial intelligence - and so gripping I found it difficult to put down.
*Hilary Spurling*

This is a very thorough and enjoyable biography of a very great painter, perhaps the greatest of the nineteenth century. He also loved smoking.
*David Hockney*

A deeply researched and immensely readable biography that gives the reader a compelling and original understanding of the works and the life of a universally admired but misunderstood painter.
*Miranda Seymour*

This magical biography ... is a suitably sybaritic book. Really you should read it on a terrace with a glass of something pink ... You come away with a clearer picture not only of Monet ... but a generation of artists; you understand Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro, Degas, Cézanne and the dawn of impressionism better for the light that Wullschläger shines on it all ... Usually when reviewing a big biography I feel relieved at the end. This time I felt bereft ... This is a book to be savoured like an orange candied in honey ... It's an intoxicating read.
*The Times*

Wullschläger writes magnificently about the paintings … Years of looking, together with masses of original research, have yielded a richly detailed book that will be invaluable for years to come.
*Literary Review*

Jackie Wullschläger's rich and detailed biography..beautifully illustrated...has done Monet the service of turning him back into a rounded human being.
*Mail on Sunday*

Wullschläger writes powerfully ... with [a] subtlety that characterizes every page of this immense, engrossing biography ... It would be hard to overstate the scale and ambition of the project.
*Times Literary Supplement*

It is a story Wullschläger tells with aplomb ... few have engaged so thoroughly with the journals, memoirs and rich cache of [Monet's] letters. Wullschläger uses these to animate a life of plunging lows and soaring highs...failures and successes, despair and happiness ... This, though, is not simply good history or good biography ... it is her deep engagement with Monet's art that makes this book such a pleasure to read.


*The TLS Podcast*

In a colourful new biography, Jackie Wullschläger reveals the tempestuous man behind the canvases ... Monet has found a sympathetic, skilled biographer. Ms Wullschläger has a gift for seeing and sifting ... This biography most excels when it explains Monet's paintings.

Eloquent and penetrating. This book has made me look again at familiar paintings, revisit well-worn assumptions about Impressionism, and given me hours of joy just savouring exceptionally well-crafted sentences and observations.
*Financial Times Books of the Year*

This bold and inspiring biography ..the first account of the Impressionist’s private life, and a work of impressionism in its own right. Jackie Wullschläger captures her subject in sun and shade and shifting colour.

Enthralling ... Jackie Wullschläger gives us a portrait of Monet as full and as carefully calibrated as we could ever wish for. Part of its strength is that it embeds the life story so completely into the making of the art, painting by painting. Some of its finest moments show off some of Wullschläger's best qualities as a journalist, giving us the essence of a painting in just a few sentences, demonstrating with a few deft strokes of the pen, how it contributes to the ever-thickening skein of the ever-shifting moods of the Monet story.

*Art Newspaper*

The many currents of a passionate life flow through this superbly accomplished biography.
*Telegraph Books of the Year*

By delving deep into his correspondence and researching his life in detail, Wullschläger emerges with a strikingly different portrait of the artist. Passionate, edgy, prickly and unstable, her Monet, the unrecognisable Monet, is a powerful new character in art.
*Sunday Times Books of the Year*

A beautifully written and insightful account of Monet, the man and the artist, and the first substantial biography in English. The author is art critic for the Financial Times and writes with intelligent sympathy for the man as well as insightfully on the art
*Evening Standard Books of the Year*

This fine study by the distinguished art critic Jackie Wullschläger sets the Father of Impressionism within the turbulence of late 19th-century France and the first two decades of the 20th century — revealing the upheavals of a complex private life as he moved from naturalism to impressionism... This critical and perceptive biography of a dynamic painter deserves to win prizes
*Daily Mail Books of the Year*

Anyone who has followed Wullschläger’s amazing writing and art criticism over the years will probably not be surprised to find that her deep dive into the life of the great Claude Monet is both comprehensive and engrossing... a “tour de force.” And anyone who has marveled at Monet’s dreamlike waterlilies, haystacks, views of the Waterloo Bridge, or the Houses of Parliament will come away with an even deeper appreciation of him as an artist, father and husband

*New Statesman*

Wullschläger's biography describes him excellently and makes shrewd deductions, while leaving a core of unknowability (of which Monet would doubtless have approved)... His true biography, as Wullschläger understands, is the biography of his art
*London Review of Books*

Wullschläger tells us to look again [at] Impressionism's heroic tale ... A new biography [that] gives fresh insight into the making of the Monet myth.
*Apollo Magazine*

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