When I first heard about plans for a show examining the work of Claude Monet in the twentieth century, I wondered why it was being done. Hadn’t we seen an awful lot of Monet in the last few years? Special exhibitions, that is—not just the many examples of his work in this country’s museums thanks to the hearty appetite of American collectors for Impressionist paintings. There was the Art Institute of Chicago’s wide-ranging retrospective in 1994 and the Brooklyn Museum’s “Monet and the Mediterranean” last fall. Earlier this year, there was the reunion of all eleven of Monet’s vaporous 1877 images of glass-roofed sheds, engines, and clouds of steam in the absorbing exhibition “Manet, Monet, and the Gare Saint-Lazare,” at the National Gallery, Washington. Two years ago, Monet’s paintings of the 1870s and 1880s had a starring role in the Phillips Collection’s “Impressionists on the...

 
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