MONET, Claude (1840-1926) Three autograph letters signed ('t...
Estimate: £5,000 - £7,000
ca. US$10,168 - US$14,236
Price realised: £15,600
MONET, Claude (1840-1926). Three autograph letters signed ('ton vieux qui t'aime Claude') to [his wife, Alice], Savoy Hotel, London, 8, 9 and 11 February 1901, 8 pages, 8vo and 2½ pages, 4to , on bifolio with blue embossed heading of the Savoy Hotel.
MONET, Claude (1840-1926). Three autograph letters signed ('ton vieux qui t'aime Claude') to [his wife, Alice], Savoy Hotel, London, 8, 9 and 11 February 1901, 8 pages, 8vo and 2½ pages, 4to , on bifolio with blue embossed heading of the Savoy Hotel. MONET IN LONDON: letters displaying Monet's sensitivity to light and weather conditions as he struggles with the London fog during the painting of the London series. In the first letter his efforts have been altogether frustrated by the fog: 'Aujourd'hui le soleil ne s'est pas montré et j'en étais bien fâché. Le brouillard était très épais toute la journée, j'ai eu beau rester consciencieusement à l'affût. Me faisant monter à déjeuner, par crainte qu'une éclaircie survienne pendant que je serais au restaurant'; the same conditions reign the following day, 'sans même apercevoir le petit bal[l]on qui est le soleil. Ainsi travail pénible mais sans avoir cependant perdu mon temps'. By the 11th, however, his mood improves, and he begins to make progress: 'Une meilleure journée bien qu'avec beaucoup de mal et je n'avance pas. J'en suis toujours aux mêmes toiles qui sortiront tout d'un coup mais combien de toiles resteront en plan si cela continue. Le temps est toujours très beau. Les effets variables au possible à cause de cette brume merveilleuse'. Monet's anger is particularly aroused by St Thomas's Hospital being closed on the 9th, a Saturday, just when 'c'était le même effet qu'hier et [je] me proposais après y avoir beaucoup réfléchi à réparer ce que j'avais fait de mal hier'. The worst of it is that he would normally be able to take some canvases back to the hotel so as to see them better in his room on Sunday. His painterly routine is broken by a pleasant evening with the novelist George Augustus Moore at the Café Royale and slightly more uneasy encounter with the overly sophisticated Mrs Charles Hunter and John Singer Sargent. The letter of the 11th closes with reports of British setbacks in the Boer War, and the widespread discontent in England, particularly with the approaching opening of Parliament which might be interesting to see, but he prefers his routine. Monet made three successive visits to London in 1899 to 1901, when he worked on the great series of Views of the Thames . The present letters describe the first few days' work on his second trip. The artist's struggles with the weather and the proliferation of canvases continued and by mid-March he had fifty under way. Mrs Charles Hunter (a friend of Sargent) had arranged for Monet to have a room in St Thomas's Hospital, from which he painted the series of views of the Houses of Parliament, working only in the late afternoons so as to concentrate on backlit and sunset effects. (3)
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