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Mornings with Monet



Knopf Books for Young Readers

Author: Barb Rosenstock

Illustrator: Mary Grandpre

Character: Claude Monet

Overview: "Claude Monet is one of the world's most beloved artists--and he became famous during his own lifetime. He rejected a traditional life laid out clean and smooth before him. Instead he chose a life of art. But not just any art: a new way of seeing that came to be called impressionism.

Monet loved to paint what he saw around him, particularly the Seine River. He was initially rejected for using bright colors, tangled brushstrokes--condemned for his impressions. But soon art dealers and collectors were lining up each morning to see as Monet saw. Monet, however, waited only for the light. The changing light...each morning he had a dozen canvases on hand to paint a dozen different moments. His brush moved back and forth, chasing sunlight--putting in the arduous work to create an image that seemed to contain no effort at all." Tantalizing taste:

"He picks up a dollop of deep purple on his brush. Swooping and spreading shadows from palette to canvas. Shaping without lines, seeing in patches of color. Cream linen under bright green under dusty blue with soft lavender smoothed on top.

Painting the river's colors, and the air around the colors. Monet wipes his brow; it is not easy to paint air."

And something more: Barb Rosenstock writes in the Author's Note: "Monet's work on this book's subject, the Mornings on the Seine series, did not go smoothly at first. In fall of 1896, it rained for forty-one days. He finished only a few canvases from le bateau atelier (the studio boat) and waited out the winter... Mornings on the Seine differs from Monet's earlier work - the paint surface is smoother and the colors more harmonized. Most of these canvases ware square and had to be custom ordered. Some are almost abstract - it is hard to tell up from down, or the real scene from its reflection."


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