Venice: From Canaletto and Turner to Monet
Edited by Martin Schwander. Text by Alan Chong, Anne Distel, Gottfried Boehm.
Venice was truly a laboratory of perception in the nineteenth century, with its beguiling interplay of light, water, land and architecture. Of course, its fame as a muse for great artists goes further back, but the optical preoccupations of Impressionist and Neoimpressionist painters like Claude Monet and Paul Signac were especially suited to its singular virtues. Monet was inspired to create his famous Venice cycle in the autumn of 1908, and his Venetian paintings mark a turning point in his work as he embraced an increasingly abstract pictorial vocabulary. It is therefore safe to say that Venice made a considerable, if rarely acknowledged, contribution to this chapter of art history, poised as it was on the threshold of Modernity. This volume, filled with large-format color illustrations, is the first to provide a comprehensive examination of Venice's image in European and American painting of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. At the center of this well-informed exploration is Monet's aforementioned Venice cycle, supplemented by masterpieces by his predecessors and contemporaries, ranging from Canaletto to Turner to Signac.