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Monet collectionneur

Marianne Mathieu and Dominique Lobstein

Painters paint. But they also collect. One can see Pablo Picasso’s collection in his own museum, he who never parted from his Douanier Rousseau or his Balthus. The same can be said about Rodin in his beautiful hotel Biron. Monet cultivated the same interest for the works of other artists, but was more jealous. “Thing is, I am an egotist. My collection is for me alone … and for a few friends”, he wrote. It was rather touchy to rebuild this fund: indeed, while certain works remained in the family patrimony and then at the Musée Marmottan-Monet, created in 1934, many works were sold by his son Michel, who used the money to finance his expeditions to Africa. It took work worthy of a detective to identify the works, and then locate them. The search itself is the theme of an exhibition at the museum itself (until 14 January 2018). Monet put his hand on certain works through exchanges or even as gifts. But, as is the case of passionate collectors, he did not hesitate to pay out important sums of money, even for works by his old friends. It was the case of Young Girl Bathing by Renoir, which hangs today at the Metropolitan in New York. This book follows the traces of the group of works which includes Japanese prints as well as works by Signac and Jules Chéret. The master Cézanne has a leading place, with in particular his surprising Black Scipion which he adored and which through the surprises and turns of the art market, ended up in São Paulo.

Monet collectionneur, by Marianne Mathieu and Dominique Lobstein, Hazan, 2107, 312 p., €35.

Monet collectionneur - Marianne Mathieu and Dominique Lobstein

Review published in the newsletter #483 - from 21 September 2017 to 28 September 2017

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